OTTAWA -- A quarter of Canadians aged 18 to 34 have driven after consuming cannabis or been a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone under the influence of cannabis, according to a new poll.

This worrying data is contained in a new survey released Friday by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), which says it hopes to increase public awareness on the subject.

According to the same survey, 86 per cent of young Canadians said it is important to find alternative ways to get home when they drink alcohol, but only 70 per cent of them believe it is important to do so after using cannabis.

Jeff Walker, a senior strategic manager at CAA, said the results of the survey reveal a lack of awareness on the part of many young people who believe that cannabis does not affect their driving skills.

Walker said that while the effects of cannabis and alcohol on driving differ, reflexes are slowed in both cases, which can lead to accidents and deaths.

The CAA survey of 1,517 Canadians aged 18 to 34 was conducted Nov. 27 to Dec. 4. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2019.