According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, collision claims in Washington, Colorado and Oregon rose by 2.7% when compared with their rates before making recreational marijuana use legal. It has been hard for officers to determine the amount of THC in a person’s system at the time of a crash. With alcohol, a BAC reading will give officers an idea of just how much alcohol was present, but THC can linger for some time after use, making it hard to pinpoint whether the user was actually under the influence at the time of the crash.
Washington and Colorado were the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use back in 2012 and the first retail stores providing this service opened in 2014 and 2015. 8 states total have legalized recreational marijuana sales. In Colorado, between 2012 and October of 2016, car accident claims increased by 16%.
They also increased by more than 6% in Washington and 4.5% in Oregon. Insurance industry groups have been monitoring the claims closely since 2013 to determine whether or not there is a connection between legal marijuana use and crashes. The study found that there could be a strong correlation between the rising number of vehicle accident claims and legal marijuana usage.
However, drunk driving is also still a major concern on the road, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Drunk and drugged driving can both have a negative impact as far as increasing the number of vehicle accidents on roads across the country.
Whether a person is under the influence of alcohol or any type of drug, the consequences can be serious for someone involved in a major vehicle accident. If this applies to your case, you may be entitled to recover compensation.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines