Studies have been conducted for some time now revealing that marijuana can be used by many to help cope with different health issues in place of taking opioid drugs. As marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia, studies are still being conducted to determine the effects it has on drivers. While some might claim marijuana has no effect on drivers and doesn’t jeopardize safety on the roadways, an online survey conducted by Harris Poll involving 2,000 adults “has found that more Americans consider using social media (99%) and texting (98%) on a cell phone to be more dangerous while driving than being under the influence of marijuana (91%).”
Although 91% of the individuals who were asked did acknowledge that they felt driving while under the influence of marijuana made the roadways more dangerous, “just two in five (40%) believe it is contributing to more motor vehicle crashes.” So, how has driving high really affected the accident toll rate? Has there actually been an increase in accidents occurring or has the number gone down since marijuana was legalized? According to Property Casualty 360, “collision rates were about three percent higher in three states that approved the sale of marijuana for recreational use- Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.”
While evidence has proven that driving while under the influence of marijuana can impair a driver’s critical abilities, a large number of accidents that transpire involve someone who is not only high, but also impaired from another drug or substance. This is one of the reasons why driving high leads to heated debates and has become a rising issue for many.
A California Driver who was Suspected of Using Marijuana Caused a Car Accident
Many of the accidents that are reported involving drivers who were high also indicate that the same driver had consumed another drug or even alcohol in conjunction with the marijuana. Take this story for instance. A woman was driving around 100 mph before her vehicle overturned and caused a collision with five other vehicles. One individual who sustained an injury was transported to Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek and the other two were taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.
The East Bay Times reported that the woman “was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana and possibly a controlled substance.” Aside from this incident, many occur where a driver is not only high but also under the influence of something else. Because there is no clear way to determine which substance was responsible for causing the accident, it is difficult to say she was impaired by the marijuana and that in fact led to the crash.
The fact of the matter is that although there has been a slight increase in accidents in the states that legalized recreational use of marijuana, the research that has been done does not stipulate whether the increase in collisions in these three states was directly caused by drivers who were high [Source: CNBC]. Therefore, until more research is done, the direct link between high drivers and car accidents is still questionable.
However, if you were recently involved in a collision and are looking to obtain a legal representative to help file a claim, the accident attorneys at Bowles & Verna, LLP. In Walnut Creek, CA are ready to help you. Whether you are looking to collect compensation for the damage your vehicle sustained or for the injuries that have cost you a significant amount in medical bills, these accident lawyers can explain the steps you need to take to recover a favorable amount of compensation.