There have been plenty of studies showing that legalizing marijuana is linked to rising auto accidents and yet another one has been released. The report was released by NBC News and found that though there is no proven direct causation between legalizing marijuana and increase car accidents, there are red flags that should not be ignored. Keep reading to find out more about the study and how you can request a free legal consultation if you are injured in a car accident.
What the Study Suggests
There are now 30 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and nine states plus the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana for recreational uses. There is strong support in most states for legalization which suggests that more states will follow.
For these reasons, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has studied this issue and found an increase in the number of car accidents in states that have legalized marijuana. Last year, they looked at Colorado, Oregon, Washington. This year they added Nevada to the list. The study looked at insurance claims and police reports. The results suggest that car accidents rose by between 5.2 and 6% in states that legalized marijuana compared to neighboring states in which it remained illegal.
One Disappointing Fact Surprised the Researchers
The researchers found one disturbing and surprising fact; While most people who drive while under the influence of alcohol were only, 14% of those who drove while under the influence of marijuana had a child in their vehicle. This shows that not only are some pot users putting children at risk, but usage is not limited to the evenings as DUIs are.
It is Important to Note the Difference Between Correlation and Causation
The researchers in these cases are quick to point out that the study only shows correlation – which means that it is true that when pot is legalized crashes rise. However, that does not mean that one causes the other. It could be that other things occur at the same time as pot is legalized and that is what is having the net effect.
Issues of Liability in Cases Involving Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana
It is essential that drivers who use marijuana understand that though it is legal to do so in California, it is not legal to drive under the influence. If a drugged driver causes an accident they can and will be held financially responsible for any injuries and property damage that results.
If you have been injured in a car accident in which a driver was under the influence of marijuana then we strongly recommend you contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation. We will let you know what your options are and how we can help you move forward.