Crashes on the rise in states with legal pot, IIHS says

20 October, 2018, 16:52 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Car Crashes Up in States With Legal Pot Use

"The bottom line is that there appears to be a negative impact of highway safety in legalized states, and states considering legalization need to be prepared to deal with this impact", he said.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced the finding in two new studies that were set to be released on October 18.

Currently, nine US states allow the recreational use of marijuana, including Arizona neighbors California, Nevada and Colorado.

"You shouldn't be behind the wheel regardless of what the substance is", Harkey said.

The study said that the frequency of collision insurance claims in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state rose about six percent higher than in nearby states where marijuana is still illegal.

IIHS estimates that Colorado, Oregon, and Washington combined saw a 5.2 percent increase in the rate of crashes per million vehicles registered.

Five additional states and the District of Columbia allow the recreational use of marijuana for adults.

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There's bad news today for states that legalized the recreational use of marijuana. They controlled for various factors, including differences in the driver population, insured vehicle fleet, the mix of urban versus rural conditions, unemployment, weather, and seasonality.

Medical marijuana is legal in another 22 states and 15 more states permit the use of specific cannabis products for designated medical conditions.

"It's very challenging - we know very well how to measure blood alcohol concentrations, we know how to take those numbers and turn them into laws, such as the.08 laws that we have for legal limits with regards to alcohol, we're not at the same level of knowledge with respect to marijuana", Harkey said.

Witnesses told authorities the driver had been driving erratically for more than 15 minutes before the crash.

Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Oftentimes, drivers who are tested for alcohol have other drugs in their system, not just marijuana, making it harder to isolate.

The board called for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to help identify countermeasures that can help with the growing problem of drug-impaired drivers on the road, including developing an oral fluid screening device that can be used by police officers during traffic stops.

The results were presented yesterday at the Combating Alcohol- and Drug-Impaired Driving summit, hosted by IIHS and HLDI at the Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia.



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