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Are Car Crashed Rates Rising Due to Marijuana Legalization?

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, car crash claims are on the rise in three states where recreational marijuana use is legal. Colorado, Washington, and Oregon rose by 16%, 6.2%, and 4.5% respectively. Eight states and Washington, DC have legalized the use of recreational marijuana and, since 2013, insurance industry groups have closely monitored claims to distinguish any correlation between the legalization of the drug and the recent rise in accidents.

Despite the rise in motor vehicle accidents in some of these states, however, the crash claims cannot be directly linked to marijuana usage, though it does indicate a possible correlation. The problem is that it is difficult to prove causation. While drunk drivers can be tested for sobriety, no such tests exist that are specifically designed to test drivers under the influence of marijuana. With so many unanswered questions about marijuana use and driving, it seems just as likely that other factors on the road, such as distracted driving and increased miles driven, are other possible culprits responsible for the rise in collision rates.

Given that marijuana has been legal in Colorado the longest, some say this is why the rise in each of the three aforementioned states are so varied. However, Colorado legalized pot only six months before Washington, but its 16% rise is more than double Washington’s rate of 6.2%. Oregon, on the other hand, began selling recreational marijuana over a year after Washington, but is only separated by a 1.7% difference.

Perhaps more time is necessary to fully understand any possible correlations between the rise of motor vehicle accidents and the legalization of marijuana.

Washington DC Car Accident Attorneys

At Simeone & Miller, LLP, our personal injury attorneys are here to provide the legal advocacy you need to fight for the compensation you deserve during this challenging time. When it comes to getting the most out of your car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit, working with an experienced and skilled attorney is crucial. Our legal team will help you obtain the quality medical care you need, negotiate with the insurance companies and responsible parties, gather necessary evidence, and eliminate the aggravation of working toward receiving a fair settlement.

Contact us today at (202) 888-0872 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team. We proudly serve clients in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia.