Canadians admitted to drug-driving concerns ahead of Cannabis legalization

Published: November 3, 2018

Updated: December 3, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Canada embarked on a new era of marijuana legalization last month. The federal government’s Cannabis Act was enacted on Oct. 17, allowing Canadians to purchase, store, and consumer recreational pot.

Impaired driving from driving high is a concern for insurance and authorities. It is also a worry for many Canadians, according to a recent study published by Desjardins.

Indeed, a clear majority (86%) of survey respondents claimed they are worried about drug driving once the Cannabis Act opens. Many are also highly anticipating the introduction of marijuana legalization. While concerned about drug driving, respondents were less concerned about other cannabis factors like testing, awareness campaigns, and legislation.

71% of participants said they anticipate a rise in impaired driving incidents, with 77% thinking there has not been enough driver education programs.


Pointing to data from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), Desjardins says the percentage of drivers killed on Canadian roads who tested positive for marijuana was 20.9% in 2015. Responded of the survey believe the 16-34 age group is most likely to consume cannabis and drive

Other TIRF data shows in 2015, the most common age groups for road fatalities with marijuana as a factor were 16-19-year-old drivers (32.1%) and 20-34-year-old drivers (35.9%).

“As a leading insurer, committed to our communities, we have concerns regarding any form of impaired driving,” said Desjardins General Insurance Group president and chief operating officer Denis Dubois. “Cannabis and drugs can impair your ability to stay focused and alert on the road. It endangers yourself and others and we firmly support laws against its consumption while behind the wheel.”