Marijuana Use Increases Risk of Car Accident

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2016 | Car Wrecks

The culture surrounding marijuana has changed drastically in recent years. Research has pointed to marijuana as an effective treatment for constant pain, seizures, and other medical issues. Many states have approved some type of medical marijuana while other states have legalized both medical and recreational use. While marijuana and its related products may turn out to be important medical discoveries, it has become clear to safety agencies that a rise in marijuana use around the U.S. is associated with an increase in marijuana-related car accidents. If you were hit by a driver who you believe was impaired due to marijuana use, contact an attorney right away. Marijuana has the potential to impair a driver’s abilities like alcohol or drowsiness. An individual who is high and causes an accident must be held responsible.

Drivers Who Recently Smoked Marijuana More Likely to Crash

According to an analysis performed by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, eight of nine studies found marijuana increased the likelihood of a car accident. After alcohol, marijuana was the most commonly detected drug in drivers involved in an accident. Drivers who test positive for marijuana in their systems are twice as likely to be involved in a crash as drivers who test clean for drugs or alcohol. Additionally, the more THC in a person’s system, the higher the risk of an accident.

Fatal Car Accidents Involving Marijuana Have Doubled in Washington

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety looked into marijuana-related accidents in Washington, where marijuana is legal for medical and recreational use. The researchers discovered the percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes who had used marijuana soon before driving doubled from eight percent to 17 percent from 2013 to 2014. Marijuana does not have the same side effects as alcohol, but it can affect a person’s physical abilities and reasoning. How marijuana affects a person can depend on how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was consumed and how the individual personally reacts to THC.

The Implications for Texas

While Texas does not have recreational marijuana available, these findings signal that marijuana use before driving can be deadly. A combination of marijuana and alcohol can be even riskier for everyone on the roads. If you were involved in a car accident and you believe the other driver was intoxicated or high at the time, your attorney should investigate the collision and whether the driver had smoked or in some other way used marijuana before driving.

Contact a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away

After suffering injuries in a collision, the best thing to do is called a skilled New Braunfels personal injury attorney from The Bettersworth Law Firm. We can help you file all the necessary insurance claims, but if we are unable to negotiate you an advantageous settlement, we can then represent you in a personal injury lawsuit. If the driver who caused your injuries was high, we will thoroughly investigate the situation and gather what evidence we can to prove the driver’s impairment and negligence at the time of the crash.