Study Shows That Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana Is Causing Severe Accident Injuries
According to a new study, driving under the influence of marijuana is far more dangerous than drunk driving. Just between 2010 and 2021, documented marijuana-related traffic accidents requiring emergency room treatment increased 475 percent, while accidents due to drunk driving increased only by approximately nine percent.
The specific concern is that there is a drastic increase in severe traffic injuries, specifically, where cannabis has been legalized; i.e. that the act of legalizing itself instantly increased emergency room visits by more than 200 percent, and the on point aspect of the study was not the number of crashes, but rather the increased rates of severe accidents and injuries associated with driving under the influence of marijuana. There is also concern that because cannabis use is known to be underreported, these statistics may very well be significantly higher.
More Emergency Rooms, Hospital Admissions, & Intensive Care Involved
In these marijuana-related crashes, almost 90 percent of the victims involved required an ambulance (compared to 40 percent of those who required an ambulance in car crashes when no cannabis was involved). In addition, a reported 50 percent of the marijuana users themselves required hospital admissions in these accidents (compared to six percent of non-marijuana users involved in car accidents).
Intensive care admissions were also higher in those accidents that involved marijuana: More than 20 percent of those driving under the influence of marijuana required intensive care (compared to less than two percent of those who were not under the influence of the substance).
This is because cannabis is known to impact driving performance in a number of ways, including decreasing the ability to focus or pay attention, increasing risk-taking behavior, and reducing reaction time. As a result, those under its influence while driving are more likely to speed, fail to notice hazards on time, experience poor cognitive performance, risk experiencing mental disorders, and fail to decelerate quickly enough while driving.
There is no question that the general perception that cannabis is natural and unharmful with respect to engaging in everyday activities, such as driving, while under its influence, is contributing to this widespread crisis.
If You’ve Been Harmed by an Impaired Driver, Contact Our Macon, Georgia Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured by an impaired driver, it is imperative that you speak with a local car accident attorney right away in order to ensure that you – and your loved ones – are properly taken care of, and your rights are preserved. Contact the Macon, Georgia car accident attorneys of Buzzell, Wels & Hill today to schedule a free consultation and find out more about the injury services we provide our community.