Ok I know that few subjects spark more heated debates than legalizing marijuana. But looking at this from the insurance and road safety angle in light of auto rates jumping drastically we should consider this real life case study.
Washington was one of the first two states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and at least 20 states are considering marijuana legalization in 2016. A recent report by AAA says that fatal crashes doubled after Washington state legalized marijuana.
The AAA foundation for traffic safety conducted research on fatal crashes in Washington state from 2012 to 2014. This study found that fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled after the state legalized the drug in 2012.
- The percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes who recently used marijuana more than doubled from 8% to 17% between 2013 and 2014.
- One in six drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 had recently used marijuana, which is the most recent data available.
This study should be an eye opener for the other states considering legalized marijuana and how it can impact road safety and our life's on the road. If these stats remain constant, we will see increased additional expenses and insurance premiums related to fatal accidents from impaired driving.
The biggest loss - the life of a loved one! It's up to everyone of us to stop impaired driving whether legal or not.