A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway safety analyzed insurance data for states that have legalized medical marijuana as opposed to states that don’t and found an exponential increase. The data covered claims from January 2012 to October 2016. collision claims were higher than anticipated if Marijuana had not been involved. The small increase could be attributed to the slow progression of legalization. Collision claim frequency is the number of filed claims divided by the number of insured vehicle years. If you are involved in a marijuana vehicle accident it is imperative to consult with an experienced marijuana motor vehicle accident attorney immediately.
No Increase In Some States
Another study found that in Colorado and Washington there were no increases in accidents. This study was conducted from 2009 to 2015 and only measured fatalities. It noted that in the 3 years following recreational marijuana legalization no subsequent changes occurred. So do these findings contradict the first study. The answer is no because they analyzed different data. A minor accident is much different than a fatal accident. So the findings actually support each other by noting that Marijuana legalization increases minor accidents but has no significant effect on fatal accidents.
Research has found that Marijuana, does impair drivers but not as much as alcohol does. This can attribute the findings of more minor crashes and no fatalities. The first study by the IIHS compared states with legalization to their neighbors without it. The second study compared states with shared characteristics like traffic patterns, population and the makeup of roadways. This is why the studies have very different findings. Obviously, an increase in any type of car crash is cause for concern but many state officials focus on fatal car accidents for obvious reasons.
Marijuana has fewer impairments than alcohol does and the impairments are often not that serious. Some impairments that drivers face are slow reaction times, judgment, and motor coordination. Drivers will drive slow because they feel the effects of the drug and are trying to drive a straight line. They are also attempting to keep their coordination going. Slow reaction times include reacting to a stop sign or signal slower, failure to stop for a hazard, and driving too slow to avoid hazards. Overall, marijuana impairment makes drivers slower which becomes more of a hazard for other drivers trying to avoid them.
If you are found in a marijuana-related accident you need to consult with an experienced car accident attorney who has years of experience fighting for the rights of accident victims. We will discuss your case during an initial consultation and come up with a plan of action that will place you in the best position to succeed. We use a comprehensive and aggressive approach to obtain compensation on your behalf. Once you become our client we will not stop fighting for your rights.