Study: Marijuana use linked to higher car crash rates

Every driver in Kentucky should understand that driving while intoxicated by alcohol is dangerous and illegal. However, substances beyond alcohol can be just as impairing, if not more so, for a person operating a motor vehicle.

For instance, marijuana use can also affect drivers and make them unsafe behind the wheel. This is according to a recent study that shows a link between an increase in car crash claims and legalization of recreational marijuana.

The study, conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute, examined crash claims in three states where marijuana has been legalized at the state level. In those states, accidents increased by 2.7 percent when compared to the surrounding states where marijuana use is still illegal.

Critics of the study argue that there are more factors playing a role in the increase than marijuana legalization. For instance, the other states are less densely populated. Additionally, factors like distracted driving and the increase in drivers also likely play a role in the increase in accidents, but were not accounted for in the recent study.

While there are questions that this study fails to answer fully, it serves as a reminder that drug-use laws across the country are changing. And this can lead to confusion and enforcement issues when it comes to driving under the influence of marijuana. Further, there remains doubt regarding whether legal limits set for driving under the influence of marijuana are even effective.

With all this in mind, we urge readers to refrain from driving after using marijuana. Not only is it illegal here in Kentucky, it can also put lives in danger. Although there are vulnerabilities in studies like this one, there is no doubt that drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs are at risk of making serious mistakes while driving that put others in danger.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs, it can be crucial that you discuss your legal options to pursue compensation with an attorney. You should not have to pay the price for someone else's bad decisions.

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