Marijuana use can increase danger of motor vehicle accidents

The issue of marijuana and whether it should be legalized is being debated in Missouri and across the nation. While some states are more likely than others to express a willingness to legalize it, its use will continue regardless of legality or illegality. With that, drivers will get behind the wheel after having used it. As a potentially intoxicating substance, this is a concern as it might raise the chance of motor vehicle accidents with injuries and fatalities. Understanding how prevalent marijuana use is for drivers is an important factor in confronting it. For people who have been involved in an accident, the possibility that the other driver was under the influence of marijuana can be a key in recovering compensation.

A survey by AAA shows that more than 14 million drivers in the U.S. confessed to driving in the hour after smoking marijuana in the previous month. The survey consisted of more than 2,500 licensed drivers who were 16 and older and had driven in the last month. People expressed a greater acceptance of driving after using marijuana than of other risky acts when driving. Seven percent said they approved of driving after using marijuana. Three percent approved of driving after having used prescription drugs. Fewer than two percent said it was acceptable to drive under the influence of alcohol or while drowsy.

According to AAA’s executive director, using marijuana can diminish reaction time and hinder judgement. Still, drivers do not think driving under its influence is as risky as drinking and driving or using a cellphone. Complicating matters is believing there is a lack of punishment for driving under the influence of marijuana. Legal or not, marijuana can have a negative impact on many important factors in safe driving and AAA encourages drivers not to do it.

Since auto accidents can result in injuries with hospitalizations, lost time at work, massive medical costs and long-term damage, it is imperative to understand how a legal filing can be beneficial to recover compensation. If it causes a fatality, the family will need to cover for the lost companionship, lost contributions, funeral expenses and more. As people feel emboldened to drive under the influence of marijuana, this can be an important point in a legal filing. A law firm that has experience investigating motor vehicle accidents can be of assistance in all aspects of a case.