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Study: auto accident stats higher in states with legal marijuana

When there is an auto accident in Colorado, there could be a multitude of reasons for it to have occurred. People who are violating the law when texting and driving, drinking and driving, behaving negligently or recklessly are all ways in which a wreck can happen. Studies are often conducted to assess the causes of a collision. One that is increasingly problematic — despite the legality of its use — is when drivers are behind the wheel after having used marijuana. Although it is legal to use, driving under the influence of marijuana is against the law and is dangerous. This should be factored in after a crash.

Our state has been one of the most progressive states in the U.S. when it comes to marijuana, legalizing it for recreational use. However, a new study has shown that states, like Colorado, where its use has been legalized are having an increase in auto accidents. There were two studies, one by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), and the other by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). They showed that the four states — including here — that have legalized marijuana have had an uptick in accidents.

Since legalization, there was a 6 percent increase in claims after an auto accident. This was in comparison to states that were neighbors to the legalized states and have not legalized it themselves. Factors that were considered in the research were population, insured vehicles in the states, conditions — urban and rural, unemployment numbers, seasonal changes and the weather.

Just because marijuana use is legal in these states does not alter the reality that it is illegal to drive after using it. Law enforcement has no known method of determining impairment with marijuana, making it a different problem than alcohol.

After a motor vehicle accident, those who were impacted either by suffering injuries themselves and their families who have suffered the loss of a loved one in a fatal crash will want answers as to why it happened. If it was due to a driver who was under the influence of marijuana, this can be a key to a legal filing. With medical expenses, lost wages and other issues that inevitably arise, a law firm experienced in investigating the causes of an auto accident should be called as soon as possible for help with a lawsuit.