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Marijuana legalization: Why you may need to worry about a high driver

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2021 | car accidents

State lawmakers have been actively discussing making recreational cannabis legal here in Indiana in recent months. While there are many proponents of this legislation, there are countless others that are opposed — and not without reason.

Those who have spoken out against this legislation are likely aware of studies showing how the legalization of recreational marijuana has led to an increase in auto accident fatalities in recent years in other states. They likely don’t want to see that happen here in Indiana. 

How does marijuana affect a motorist’s driving abilities?

Public safety officials have long been warning motorists of the dangers associated with drunk driving. Researchers have only begun to identify just how perilous it can be for a motorist to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, though. Just like alcohol, this drug can cause a motorist to experience delayed reaction times, a lack of focus and an inability to regulate their speed.

What’s the connection between the legalization of marijuana and traffic fatality rates?

Not all researchers are totally convinced that there’s a direct correlation between recreational marijuana use and a higher incidence rate of car accidents, and studies have given mixed results. For example, a Colorado study attributed at least 75 excess roadway fatalities to marijuana legalization and use, but a similar study in Washington state gave no such findings.

Coupled with the fact that marijuana can remain in someone’s system long after the intoxicating effects of the drug have worn off, it’s often hard to tell if a driver was actually impaired by the drug when they had an accident.

What can you do to hold a drugged driver accountable for their actions?

Any auto accident can result in injuries; however, those caused by impaired motorists tend to cause more significant harm. They often speed, run red lights, miss stop signs or fail to maintain their lane. 

You shouldn’t have to pay the medical bills you incurred due to someone else’s negligence here in Indianapolis. An attorney may advise you how Indiana law allows you to recover compensation for your medical costs and other crash-related expenses you incurred.