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Potheads and Personal Injury Law: The Connection Between Pot and Auto Accidents
Marijuana Keeps Personal Injury Lawyers Busy
In the excitement over marijuana legalization and its “harmless” effects on its users, proponents like to talk about about its medicinal benefits and relative safety when it comes to users who smoke and then drive.
Don’t be fooled. While anti-marijuana films of the 1950s like “Reefer Madness” may have exaggerated some of pot’s effects and consequences, the risks of operating machinery or a car while high are no joke.
A study recently conducted in Colorado and Oregon (two states where pot is legal) by the independent, nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found significant increase already in auto collision claims when compared to states without similar, recent legalization legislation.
A Comprehensive Look on Highway Accidents Linked to Marijuana
According to the Institute, this independent survey marks the first time a definitive, statistical link has been demonstrated between marijuana usage and collision claim frequency. Some previous studies found no relationship between marijuana and crashes, while other surveys reported more than double the risk of a violent injury accident from the use of the drug. HLDI reports that Colorado demonstrated a 14% increase in claim frequency, while Oregon only had a 4% rise in collision insurance claims.
In addressing the new study, the position of the auto industry is unequivocal. Chief Research Officer for the independent, nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states, “worries that legalized marijuana is increasing crash rates aren’t misplaced.The HLDI’s findings on the early experience in Colorado, Oregon and Washington should give other states eyeing legalization pause.”
Motor Vehicle Accidents on the Rise
Along with the newly demonstrated effects of marijuana usage to insurance claims, the National Safety Council has also announced that overall, motor vehicle fatalities are also rising in California. According to the Council, California officials report that drivers under the influence of drugs and/or distracted by cell phones are partly to blame.
The take home?
Don’t take a chance when it comes to your safety or that of your family. Buckle up, put the cellphone down, and avoid all drugs and alcohol when getting behind the wheel.
Have you recently experienced an injury from a motor vehicle accident? Don’t rely on the insurance companies to make it right. Get the caring, big city law firm with the small town feel to stand in your corner.
Call Manibog Law today to schedule your FREE consultation.