NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A new study by the AAA Foundation shows that while nearly 15 million Americans admit to driving within one hour after using marijuana most don’t think they’ll ever get arrested for driving while high.

According to experts, it takes less than four hours for one to experience the “impairing effects” of marijuana and users who drive high are up to twice as likely to be involved in a crash.

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In a statement Dr. David Yang, with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said, “Marijuana can significantly alter reaction times and impair a driver’s judgement. Yet, many drivers don’t consider marijuana-impaired driving as risky as other behaviors like driving drunk or talking on the phone while driving.”

The AAA Foundation survey also found that —

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  • 7% of Americans approve of driving after recently using marijuana
  • 14% of millennials are most likely to report driving within one hour after using marijuana
  • Men (8%) are more likely than women (5%) to report driving shortly after using marijuana

Officials say it’s important to remember that just because a drug is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe to use while operating a motor vehicle, and all motorists should avoid driving while impaired by marijuana or any other drug (including alcohol).

“Any driver who gets behind the wheel high can be arrested and prosecuted,” said Jake Nelson, AAA Director of Traffic Safety and Advocacy.

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The survey results are part of the AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index.