Marijuana and Hollywood Car Accidents: What Are the Facts?

Drunk driving is a concern on Hollywood and Florida streets, but it’s not the only impairment that’s a danger on our roads. Any substance, including over the counter and prescription medications and illegal substances, can impact your driving if they affect your reaction times. Marijuana is one such substance. While many people see it as “less dangerous” than “hard drugs,” new studies suggest marijuana can have a bigger impact than previously thought on the safety of our streets.

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Have you been injured by a driver who was under the influence of marijuana? Find out whether you have a claim. Before you agree to a payout from your insurer and before even discussing your claim with anyone, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation with a Hollywood car accident claims attorney. We can help you explore your options and protect your rights.

New Studies About Marijuana and Car Crashes

Canada legalized recreational cannabis in 2018, and this has allowed researchers to study the effects of marijuana on traffic accidents. Researchers at the University of Ottawa and other institutions discovered that between 2010 and 2021 (after Canada legalized marijuana) car accident injuries serious enough to require an ER visit rose by 475%. For comparison, drunk driving accidents increased by 9.4% in the same period. However, drunk driving accidents still outnumbered marijuana-related crashes.

Some medical doctors believe the actual number of marijuana-related accidents may even be underreported. Not all drivers may admit to using marijuana before driving.

Researchers concluded that marijuana increased the likelihood of accidents and also the seriousness of injuries in car crashes for a few reasons:

  • Marijuana decreases the ability to focus.
  • Marijuana reduces reaction time.
  • Marijuana can increase risk-taking.
  • Marijuana is becoming more potent, which can make focus and reaction time even worse.
  • Drivers under the influence of marijuana specifically notice dangers later and tend to drive faster, according to studies.
  • Marijuana may be combined with alcohol use or the use of other (controlled) substances, exacerbating its effects.

Other research around the world has reached similar conclusions—that traffic accidents related to marijuana increased after legalization. As more states and countries look towards legalization, it’s important to have a conversation about road safety. Some drivers may not realize that driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous. Because it’s a “natural” plant some people see it as harmless. More regulation, enforcement, and better awareness campaigns may be needed to help make the public aware of the dangers.

More research is also needed. While there is a legal blood alcohol limit, there isn’t a clear understanding about how much marijuana may be “safe.” Currently, no one should drive after using marijuana.

So what should you do if you’re in a car accident and you suspect the other driver is under the influence of marijuana or another substance? You’ll want to call 911 if anyone is seriously injured. You’ll also want to contact police so they can evaluate the driver to see if they’re safe to continue driving.

Something else you may want to do is to reach out to Flaxman Law Group to schedule a free consultation with a Hollywood car accident claims lawyer. Our family-based legal team can negotiate with insurance companies for you, can investigate the cause of your accident, and may be able to pursue any compensation you’re eligible for. Just call us at 866-352-9626 if you’ve been injured to set up your free consultation.

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