Daily Trends Now
Daily Trends Now


Legalized marijauna blamed for uptick in car crash claims

However, researchers have been unable to definitively connect the use of marijuana and auto crashes.

The study, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute, found collision claims in Colorado, Washington and OR went up 2.7 percent in the years since legal pot sales began when compared with surrounding states.

The study compared the frequency of collision claims from 2012 to 2016 with that of control states without recreational pot sales, including Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, as well as Colorado, Oregon and Washington prior to legalization.

Colorado experienced a 14 percent increase in collision claims compared with nearby Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming.

IIHS studied the frequency of collision claims - that is, claims of damage to the driver's vehicle, usually because of an accident the driver caused - in Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

Meanwhile, the HLDI is planning to conduct more of these studies and has started a large-scale case-control research in OR to determine whether legalized marijuana use is causing automotive injuries.

Researchers from Columbia University also found there was a rise in heavy use of the drug and are concerned this prevalence could lead to higher abuse figures.

Moore of the Highway Loss Data Institute said they hope the study's findings will be considered by lawmakers and regulators in states where marijuana legalization is under consideration or recently enacted.




The combined effect for the three states was a small but significant nearly three percent, according to the HLDI Vice President Matt Moore. Other states, including California which allows medical marijuana, have looked to these states as models as to whether or not they should also file suit.

A recent insurance study links increased auto crash claims to legalized recreational marijuana.

According to the group's statistics, crash rates have spiked in Colorado, Washington and OR by 16 percent, 6.2 percent, and 4.5 percent, respectively.

"Colorado has had legal pot sales the longest and it is showing the greatest effect", Moore said, according to CNBC.

Aydelotte says the study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute didn't use the same common denominator that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses for its crash deaths (how many billions of miles are traveled in that state).

This number came from comparing the three weed-friendly states with the control group. But when it comes to driving safety, a new study poses doobie-ous ramifications. "It is something states need to look at when they're considering legalization". In the coming years, more research from the institute and others will help sharpen the focus. Those results are expected in 2020.

In addition to Colorado, Oregon and Washington, five other states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for all uses, and 21 states have comprehensive medical marijuana programs as of June.

Mason Tvert with the Marijuana Policy Project, which fights to legalize marijuana, had something to say about that.

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