Drivers reminded impairment and driving don’t mix

National Road Safety Week May 14 to 20

With the warm weather finally making itself seen around Canada, the nation is collectively letting out a sigh of relief. Flowers are blooming. Cottages are being opened, and the May long weekend offers an excellent opportunity to go on a road trip!

This May long weekend also coincides with 2019’s National Road Safety Week, held May 14 – 20. The Canada Safety Council would like to take this opportunity to remind you that impairment and driving do not mix. When you get behind the wheel in a state of intoxication, whether from alcohol or drugs, you put your own life as well as the lives of other road users in danger.

It should come as no surprise that impairment behind the wheel is dangerous, reckless and selfish – historical safety messaging has been abundant on this topic. And yet, while the statistics show gradual decline in impaired driving incidents, the latest reported numbers are still concerning.

According to Statistics Canada, 72,039 impaired driving incidents were reported in 2015, representing a rate of 201 incidents per 100,000 population. This is the lowest rate since impaired driving statistics began being collected in 1986; however impaired driving continues to be the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada.

The above statistic includes approximately 3,000 drug-impaired incidents, seven of which were fatal incidents and 19 of which bodily harm. It’s worth noting that these statistics do not reflect any effect the nationwide legalization of cannabis may have had on the Canadian road landscape.

Cannabis and alcohol impairment do not share identical characteristics. The effects of drunk driving, of course, are well documented. A drunk driver may feel more compelled to take risks, speed and generally act recklessly. They may also experience decreased concentration, slower reaction times and an altered sense of vision and hearing.

While cannabis users may also experience slower reaction times, the difference in the intoxicants comes from how the user reacts. Generally, cannabis users will leave more space between themselves and the next vehicle, while also driving at slower speeds. The danger here lies in a high driver’s unpredictable nature – for instance, a cannabis-impaired driver may stay stopped at a stop sign or light for longer than expected.

Additionally, motor coordination and decision-making skills can be impaired under the influence of cannabis. And, when mixed with alcohol, the impairing effects can become multiplicative and exponentially more dangerous.

Don’t take the risk. If you’re driving, stay sober. If you had intended on driving but over-consumed, leave the car parked. Sleep it off if you can, or get a ride home from a friend, a family member, a taxi, a ride-share or an alternate means of transportation. But whatever you do, do not get behind the wheel. It’s every Canadian’s responsibility to keep our roads safe for everyone.

Submitted by Canada Safety Council

Just Posted

Shots fired during Sylvan Lake and area crime spree

Sylvan Lake RCMP worked with other agencies to arrest four over the long weekend

Sylvan Lake McDonald’s raises more than $5,000 during McHappy Day

Year to date, the Sylvan Lake location has raised over $13,000 through fundraising efforts

Red Deer County firefighters dispatched to High Level

Four crew members and a fire engine are assisting in battling the out of control wild fire

Sylvan Lake family ‘humbled’ by support as son undergoes cancer treatment

Zane Baker was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2017 and will now travel to Florida for treatment

Sylvan Lake increases Municipal Enforcement activity along lakefront

With more activity in the downtown and lakefront area, officers will be more visible during summer

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

School bus crash in Edmonton sends 12 to hospital, 2 with broken bones

Alberta Health Services said there were no life-threatening injuries

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear Alberta murder appeals

Sheena Cuthill and her husband Timothy Rempel were found guilty three years ago of killing Ryan Lane

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Most Read