An increase in car accidents because of stoned drivers was an argument used against legalized weed. A 2017 study appeared to support those in favor of legalized weed. The study found recreational marijuana in states where it was legal had not increased the number of fatal accidents.
However, recent reports indicated that legalized marijuana for recreational use might be increasing car accidents overall. In addition, the NHTSA issued its report regarding a tragic crash in March 2017 that killed 12 people on a church bus in Texas. The NHTSA said that the probable cause of the vehicle accident was that the driver of the other vehicle that collided with the bus was under the influence of a sedative and marijuana.
New Studies Indicate Increase in Car Accidents After Legalization of Marijuana
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issued a report regarding the effect of recreational marijuana sales on police-reported crashes in Washington, Colorado, and Oregon. The report included two studies that reviewed car crashes in the three states that had legalized weed for recreational use.
Researchers in the first study estimated the occurrence of vehicle crash claims per year, while controlling for differences in other factors. What they found is that car crashes increased in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado increased by about 6% when compared to neighboring states that had not legalized marijuana for recreational use.
The second study reviewed the police-reported vehicle accidents before and after marijuana was legalized for recreational use. The findings were very similar to the findings in the first study. Car crashes increased by about 5.2% after weed was legalized for recreational use in those states.
Studies have analyzed how marijuana affects a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. In one study, researchers found that marijuana influenced drivers by causing them to weave more when they were tested using driving simulators. In another study, researchers found that some drivers under the influence of marijuana had slower perceptual and thinking skills. More research may be required to understand the complete effects of using marijuana recreationally while driving.
Drugged Driving Accidents
Driving while impaired by marijuana or other drugs is illegal in California. If a driver is impaired by marijuana and causes a car crash, the driver can be charged with a crime. The driver may also be held liable for damages caused by the crash.
Unfortunately, there are no standardized tests for measuring how weed impaired the driver’s abilities. As weed is legalized in more states, more research and better tests may help legislators create laws that guide law enforcement officers and courts in prosecuting drugged driving cases.
If a drugged driver injures you, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, proving drugs impaired the driver at the time of the crash could be difficult. An experienced Sacramento drugged driving attorney can help you gather evidence to prove the other driver caused the crash.
Call a Sacramento Drugged Driving Attorney for More Information
Call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 to schedule a free consultation with a Sacramento drugged driving attorney. Learn how filing a claim can help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.