With marijuana legalization possibly looming on the horizon, the prospect of stoned drivers hitting the roads is becoming a growing concern.
In fact, Sgt. Randy Fincham of the Vancouver Police Department says that even with marijuana and other drugs still outlawed, about one in three cases of impaired driving that he’s seeing now involve someone under the influence of something besides alcohol.
“It’s a misconception for people who think they can consume marijuana and still get behind the wheel of a car and do it safely,” he said.
Thanks to Ford, however, drivers can now understand exactly how drug use can affect people’s skills behind the wheel without actually putting any lives in danger.
The automaker has designed a suit that mimics the effects of various drugs on the body. Goggles with flashing lights that blur your vision are designed to replicate the effects of ecstasy or other rave drugs. Vibrating gloves are meant to simulate heroin withdrawal, while weights that can be affixed to your arms and legs are meant to induce the sluggishness that comes with drug use in general.
“We can get out to teens and other new drivers, and just say ‘hey, this is not how you want to get behind the wheel,'” Ford Canada’s Matt Drennan-Scace said.
When it comes to marijuana specifically though, not everyone is convinced that it poses a threat on the roads. Activist Jodie Emery referred to a U.S. government report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which found “The more carefully controlled studies that actually measured marijuana (THC) use by drivers rather than relying on self-report, and that had more actual control of covariates that could bias the results, generally show reduced risk estimates or no risk associated with marijuana use.”
No matter what you believe about marijuana though, the suit that Ford designed definitely impairs your ability to drive. You can see it in action in the video above.