Studies link higher crash rates with states that legalized marijuana

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute announced Thursday that crashes in states with legalized recreational marijuana have increased to 6 percent.

IIHS and HLDI are planning to present two studies Thursday on clashes in states where marijuana is legal on the fight against alcohol and drug strokes at the Vehicle Research Center of IIHS in Ruckersville, Virginia.

IIHS and HLDI said that in one study analysts estimate that the frequency of assault claims per year of insured vehicles increased by a combined 6 percent after the start of retailing in recreational marijuana in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington compared to the controlled states of Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. The analysis is based on data on collision losses from January 2012 to October 2017.

David Harkey, president of IIHS-HLDI, told Automotive News that his team looked at the issue of marijuana use and the risk of accidents, since states began legalizing recreational marijuana a few years ago.

Harkey said the second study analyzed the police accident reports in legalized marijuana states and found that crash reports have increased by 5 percent compared to neighboring countries that have not legalized marijuana.

Analysts checked for differences in the nominal driver population, insured vehicle fleet, the mix of urban versus rural exposure, unemployment, weather and seasonality. They found that collision claims are the most common type of non-life insurers.

These findings emerge as campaigns to decriminalize marijuana get more grip on voters and legislators in the United States and in the light of Canada that Wednesday legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Bloomberg said that Canada became the first country in the Group of Seven to legalize recreational marijuana, giving it a huge lead on the global marijuana market, which generated a $ 150 million peg.

Although the role of marijuana in accidents is not as clear as the relationship between alcohol restriction and accident, Harkey said that he thinks the public should be informed about possible collisions, especially as more states discuss legalization.

"We know that many states are considering making recreational marijuana available," Harkey said. "They just need to be aware of what we see in the data.

"What it comes down to is that in legalized states there seems to be a negative impact of highway safety, and states that are considering legalization must be prepared to handle this impact," he said. "Regardless of the content – whether it's alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs or other substances – it's still illegal to drive badly, and we need to make sure that the public understands that we can not get behind the wheel, point . "

He also said that his team is doing more detailed studies to find out what the degree of restriction is of marijuana and the associated risks. Harkey hopes for results in the next year or two.

"From some studies on the roadside we've done so far, we see that marijuana is not only used at night or in the evening, but that it is also used at other times of the day and during the day. ," he said. . "We have real concerns about the degree of impairment that will occur at any time of the day."