According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, fatal car accidents have soared since the legalization of marijuana in Washington. Fatal crashes involving marijuana-intoxicated drivers more than doubled in 2014 over the previous year – which was the year before recreational marijuana was legalized in the state. With other states considering legislation to legalize pot (medical marijuana is now legal in 24 states), the safety of our roads is a big consideration. "Washington serves as an eye-opening case study for what other states may experience with road safety after legalizing the drug," says Peter Kissinger, CEO of the Foundation.
But according to the same group, it is difficult to determine at what point a driver is too intoxicated by the drug to drive. Although the CDC has reported that marijuana users are about 25 percent more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers with no marijuana use, tests reveal that some drivers may have high levels of THC in their systems and not be impaired, while others with a very low level of THC may be impaired. This makes it difficult for the government to come up with legal limits in the same way as it has for alcohol. It currently is not possible to determine whether a driver is impaired based solely on how much THC is present in their system.
If this study tells us anything, it is that all motorists should avoid driving while impaired. Driving while under the influence of any drug, legal or illegal, is extremely dangerous because it changes a driver’s perception and reaction time. In fact, every day in the United States, 28 people lose their lives in car accidents involving an impaired driver, in addition to dozens of prevantable injuries.
Your Rights as an Impaired Driving Victim
If you have been in an accident caused by someone under the influence of alcohol or marijuana, you may be entitled to compensation. We encourage you to contact Scott H. Palmer, P.C. to talk about your rights as a victim with a Dallas personal injury lawyer. We can help you file a claim seeking compensation for damages related to your accident, including past and future medical bills, lost wages and/or earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. You should not have to suffer for another person's carelessness. Our team is ready to guide you through the claims process every step of the way so that you can get your life back as soon as possible.
With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, we remind you to drive safely!
To get in touch with a member of our team and schedule a personal injury consultation, please call our office at (214) 891-3382. We are available 24/7 to take your call.