Study links legalized pot with increase in car crash claims
DENVER | Insurance claims for car crashes have jumped since recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, Washington and Oregon, spurring concerns about traffic safety as more drivers take to the roads under the influence.
A first-of-its-kind study released Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that collision claim frequency was “about 3 percent higher than would have been expected without legalization.”
“More drivers admit to using marijuana, and it is showing up more frequently among people involved in crashes,” said the analysis.
Colorado’s collision-claim frequency was 14 percent higher than that in nearby states after the state unveiled the nation’s first legal recreational marijuana market in January 2014.
Claim frequency was 6.2 percent higher in Oregon, where recreational pot sales began in October 2015, and 4.6 percent higher in Washington, which opened retail marijuana shops in July 2014.