States Where Marijuana is Legal are Having Increased Car Crashes


Today I read a study that is interesting but unsurprising. It turns out that according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, crash frequency from states where recreational marijuana is legal is 6 percent higher than neighboring states where recreational use of marijuana is outlawed. The study looked at crash statistics in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington and determined that the frequency of collision claims per insured vehicle was 6 percent higher as compared to four control states, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming, that were used for comparison. The collision data was gathered from collisions occurring January 2012 through October 2017.

As a personal injury trial lawyer, I can tell you from my own experience in prosecuting serious injury and death cases that drivers who are impaired by any substance, alcohol, marijuana, hard drugs, sleeping pills, even cold medicine can have a negative effect on driving abilities. Right now my firm is prosecuting one such case in which a driver who appears to have been intoxicated by cannabis, drove his big rig through one car killing a man and injuring others terribly. Entire families have been devastated just by this one act of driving under the influence. Throughout my career, I have literally seen dozens and dozens of occasions when intoxication has lead to deadly consequences.

Be careful out there. If you are going to use any substance, legal or illegal, that can affect your ability to drive, please stay off of the roads. Regardless if the substance is legal or illegal where you live, if you drive under the influence it can lead to mayhem and death. Regardless if the substance is legal or illegal, if you harm someone else under the influence you could face civil and criminal prosecution for the harm that has been caused.