June 16, 2024

Legalization of Marijuana Linked to an Increase in Traffic Crashes and Deaths

In general, the very first boost in the injury crash rate occurred after legalization but before retail sales started. Injury rates from vehicle accidents increased 6.5% following legalization, however, they partially decreased (-0.7%) after retail sales began. Fatal accident rates climbed up both after legalization (+2.3%) and after retail sales were legalized (+1.8%).
” Legalization gets rid of the stigma of marijuana usage, while the beginning of retail sales merely increases access,” says Farmer. “But access to cannabis isnt hard, even in locations without retail sales. Users who formerly prevented driving high might feel that its okay after legalization.”
The sharper relationship in between marijuana legalization and traffic crash injuries, rather than deaths, might be because of how some drivers compensate when impaired by marijuana. Frequently, motorists under the influence of cannabis slow down and preserve a larger distance in between themselves and other vehicles. Impaired but at lower speeds, drivers may not be able to avoid a crash, but the crashes that take place may be less likely to be fatal.
According to the authors, earlier research studies involving driving simulators have actually shown marijuana use to affect reaction time, roadway tracking, lane keeping and attention. Farmer keeps in mind that the existing study is correlational, and increased marijuana use itself is likely not the sole cause of the boosts seen.
” Studies looking for a direct causal link in between marijuana use and crash threat have actually been undetermined,” he says. “Unlike alcohol, there is no good goal step of simply how impaired a marijuana user has ended up being. Up until we can precisely determine marijuana disability, we wont be able to link it to crash threat.”
To conduct their research study, the detectives gathered information on traffic crashes and traffic volume from 2009 to 2019 from 11 states and from the Federal Highway Administration. 5 states (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada) legislated leisure marijuana throughout the research study duration.
The changes in injury crash rates differed by state: Colorado had the biggest jump (+17.8%) and California the tiniest (+5.7%) after both legalization and the start of retail sales. Nevadas rate decreased (-6.7%). For deadly crashes, boosts took place in Colorado (+1.4%) and Oregon (3.8%), but declines were found in Washington (-1.9%), California (-7.6%) and Nevada (-9.8%).
Farmer points out that states considering cannabis legalization should think about a few steps to assist prevent a prospective boost in crashes. “First, convince everybody that driving under the influence of marijuana is not alright,” he states.
Reference: “Changes in Traffic Crash Rates After Legalization of Marijuana: Results by Crash Severity” by Charles M. Farmer, Ph.D., Samuel S. Monfort, Ph.D. and Amber N. Woods, Ph.D., 19 July 2022, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.DOI: 10.15288/ jsad.2022.83.494.

A recent study has discovered an association in between the legalization of cannabis and an increased event of automobile mishaps.
Could the legalization of marijuana be causing more cars and truck mishaps?
According to a current study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, states that legalized leisure cannabis had a boost in traffic crashes and deaths.
” The legalization of marijuana doesnt come without a cost,” states lead scientist Charles M. Farmer, Ph.D., of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Ruckersville, Va
. After legalization and the launch of retail sales, there was a 5.8% rise in the incidence of traffic accident injuries and a 4.1% boost in the rate of fatal crashes, according to Farmer and coworkers analysis of five states that permit individuals age 21 and older to consume cannabis recreationally. In a relative group of states without cannabis legalization, the researchers did not see any rise throughout the same period.

After legalization and the launch of retail sales, there was a 5.8% increase in the occurrence of traffic collision injuries and a 4.1% boost in the rate of fatal crashes, according to Farmer and coworkers analysis of 5 states that allow people age 21 and older to consume cannabis recreationally. In a relative group of states without marijuana legalization, the scientists did not see any rise throughout the exact same duration.

” Legalization removes the preconception of cannabis use, while the start of retail sales merely increases access,” says Farmer. The sharper relationship in between marijuana legalization and traffic crash injuries, rather than casualties, might be due to how some chauffeurs compensate when hindered by marijuana. Farmer points out that states considering cannabis legalization must think about a couple of actions to assist avert a potential increase in crashes.