A new study shows that legalized recreational marijuana might increase car accidents. The study was driven by the insurance research group ‘The Highway Loss Data Institute’ (HLDI), and they said that insurance claims have increased in different states since they legalized recreational marijuana
The insurance research group analyzed data from January 2012 to October 2016. They noticed that in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, there were more insurance claims since 2014. They took into consideration the gender and the age of drivers and other factors such as the number of vehicles on the road and the weather.
“We believe that the data is saying that crash risk has increased in these states and those crash risks are associated with the legalization of marijuana,” said Matt Moore, senior vice president of the Institute, which analyzes insurance data to observe emerging auto-safety trends.
This is the first study that isolates legal recreational marijuana as a factor of car crashes incidence
The data collected by the Highway Loss Data Institute was published last week, revealing that legalizing recreational marijuana might have adverse effects on the safety of people on the roads. The survey states that auto crash claims have considerably increased in those states that have accepted recreational marijuana.
Colorado and Washington said ‘yes’ to recreational marijuana in 2014. Oregon legalized it in October 2015. According to the insurance research, company insurance claims have increased by 3 percent in those states since the recreational weed became legal.
According to the researchers, there are more people under marijuana effects behind the wheels; more drivers admit they use marijuana and these people are frequently involved in car crashes. Researchers compared the analyzed data from these states to the ones of the states where legal recreational marijuana is not a thing yet.
Marijuana can be entirely blamed on
Though this study opens up the doors for more research about the matter, it is important to highlight that even the insurance companies say that there are other factors to consider that are stronger than legal recreational pot. For example, driving while being distracted by the phone, road constructions and the increasing number of people on the streets.
“It would be difficult to say that marijuana is a definitive factor, lacking a citation, in a significant number of crashes to say that what we see here is a trend,” noted Kenton Brine, president of the Northwest Insurance.
Council, a group that represents insurance companies in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
For example, one of the critics made to this survey is that they compared data from states with a dense population such as Washington to the claims made in rural states such as Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, where there are fewer people behind the wheel. This was highlighted by Mason Tvert, a marijuana legalization advocate and communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project.
Another study says exactly the opposite
While some might be considering marijuana as an important factor to understand the increasing number of car crashes, there is another study that denies these research findings. It was also published last week, and it considers the number of fatal car crashes between 2009 and 2015 to identify the incidence of marijuana on them. They went through the data from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System. When they analyzed the data from Colorado and Washington, they saw that there wasn’t a difference between these states where recreational marijuana is legal and eight other states where recreational cannabis is not allowed.
“Three years after recreational marijuana legalization, changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado were not statistically different from those in similar states without recreational marijuana legalization,” Stated the study.
This study was published in American Journal of Public Health
However, these results contrast the data released by the Colorado Department of Transportation, because these stats show that car accident deaths increased 11 percent in 2016. Therefore, there might be a missing factor to be considered in the study, and there might be room to consider the effects of marijuana. However, it is important to highlight that the survey didn’t include data from 2016.
In conclusion, it is hard to tell if legalizing marijuana is something that increases fatalities in car crashes and auto insurance claims. Maybe more research needs to be done in the following years to understand the impact of recreational cannabis on the roads. Some people daresay that these surveys raised more questions than answers about the matter.
However, what can’t be denied is that both studies drew attention to the possible threats of recreational marijuana to public safety because there are certainly more people who are driving when they are under the effects of marijuana. It is important for states to consider all these factors, so they can take preventive measures to avoid this kind of situation on the roads, once they legalize recreational pot.
Source: The Chicago Tribune
13 thoughts on “Study reveals that legalized recreational marijuana is linked to more car accidents”
science has revealed that because of the discovery of our endocannabinoid system that Cannabis (T.H.C.) is actually one of our major nutrients like vitamin C,D or A. T.H.C. is already produced in most normal and healthy people. Many others of us need additional amounts this nutrient other than what our body’s produce…Unless I maintain a saturation level (quite high) the effects are (while) very good are still only marginal. This is to be expected because I am a severely and emotionally disturbed schizophrenic at the far end of the scale.This treatment has proven successful. Normally we get a sufficient amount through our food supply Unfortunately the incompetent idiots at the F.D.A. and D.E.A. are continually trying to remove or destroy it..
Anyone who does not know the difference between a harmless, beneficial and healthful plant like marijuana and a dangerous and deadly chemical concoction like meth does not belong in any position of responsibility. Especially in law enforcement or political office. Idiots in the public should likewise be confined to a padded child’s playroom with toys and safe items so they wont be allowed to harm themselves.
Americans are sick of the drug war and the obvious idiots who wage it and the profiteers who exploit it solely for greed’s sake…
There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize marijuana nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.
The prohibitionist view on marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority and rapidly shrinking percentage of Americans. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.
Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.
Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The vast majority of Americans have seen through the sham of marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.
With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a marijuana prohibitionist to do?
Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!
Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Marijuana Legalization Efforts!
Legalizing Marijuana will not create a massive influx of marijuana impaired drivers on our roads.
It will not create an influx of professionals (doctors, pilots, bus drivers, etc..) under the influence on the job either.
This is a prohibitionist propaganda scare tactic.
Truth: Responsible drivers don’t drive while impaired on any substance period!
Irresponsible drivers are already on our roads, and they will drive while impaired regardless of their drug of choice’s legality.
Therefore, legalizing marijuana will have little impact on the amount of marijuana impaired drivers on our roads.
The same thing applies to people being under the influence of marijuana on the job.
Responsible people do not go to work impaired, period. Regardless of their drug of choice’s legality.
Contrary to what prohibitionists are so desperately trying to get the public to believe wholeheartedly and without question, legalizing marijuana IS NOT adding anything new into our society that wasn’t always there and widely available already.
Marijuana has been ingrained within our society since the days of our founding fathers and part of human culture since biblical times, for thousands of years.
So, since marijuana has always been with us and humans already have thousands upon thousands of years worth of experience with marijuana, what great calamities and “Doomsday Scenarios” do prohibitionists really think will happen now due to current legalization efforts that have never ever happened before in all human history?
oh come on. Where are the blood tests showing high levels? Where is the legitimate studies? this is BS
Cannabis makes you a much safer driver,and alcohol makes you a rolling clown looking for an accident.
which is why ” self-driving ” cars were ” invented ” in California. But Alcohol related auto accidents result in fatalities more often ? An uptick in insurance claims is better than more graves filled ( I would rather all drivers be high than 1% being drunk ! I bet there is an increase in diabetes treatment claims in states with lots of ” Fat ” people ?
Actually the big push for self-driving cars is coming from the freight companies, who hope to someday have automated freight trucks instead of having to hire a driver (pay, benefits, contracts, etc) for every single truck they send
I’m sure it has nothing to do with the population increases in those states. The simple truth is this: If you think legalization of marijuana increased the amount of people USING marijuana, you’re simply naive.
Legalized marijuana attracts more people to a state. More people equals more accidents. Why do these researchers overlook the obvious?
I don’t believe it. Analysing numbers can half way support any theory.
True, numbers don’t lie but it is very easy to lie with numbers.