Health Care

Insurance study ties legal pot to boost in car crash claims

Insurance study ties legal pot to boost in car crash claims”

The Highway Loss Data Institute, a leading insurance research group, released a study that links increased auto crash claims to legalized recreational marijuana. Collision claims have increased as a result, according to a auto insurance-related non-profit.

Now, the study didn't indicate that drivers under the influence of marijuana directly caused the increase.

"We believe that the data is saying that crash risk has increased in these states and those crash risks are associated with the legalization of marijuana", Moore said, according to the International Business Times. When each state with legal marijuana was compared with its direct neighbors, the increase in crash frequency was even greater.

Driving while intoxicated - either by alcohol or any other substance - is still obviously illegal, and if a driver fails a field sobriety test they can be charged with a crime regardless of whether their inebriation is due to a bottle of booze or a joint.

The study shows more drivers admit to using marijuana and its showing up more frequently after a vehicle crash.

Moore of the Highway Loss Data Institute said they hope the study's findings will be considered by lawmakers and regulators in states where marijuana legalization is under consideration or recently enacted.

Two U.S. studies on the effects of marijuana on drivers in states where it is allowed for recreational use came to different conclusions about whether it increases risks behind the wheel.

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Twenty-one states have comprehensive medical marijuana programs.

The study found that states with legal marijuana had combined vehicle crash rates three percent higher than the states where the devil's lettuce was still illegal for recreational use.

Washington was second highest with a six percent increase, and OR came last with just a four percent increase. But when it comes to driving safety, a new study poses doobie-ous ramifications.

Aydelotte says the study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute didn't use the same common denominator that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses for its crash deaths (how many billions of miles are traveled in that state).

The HDLI didn't just look at those three states. The team reported its study results in today's (June 22) issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

They then compared this data to neighboring states.

"Worry that legalized marijuana is increasing crash rates isn't misplaced", says David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer.

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