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Accident claims rise with pot use

Kentucky drivers who may be taking to the road this summer on their vacation journeys and who may be driving to an area where marijuana is allowed to be used recreationally will want to pay special attention to signs of potentially impaired drivers. To date, Massachusetts, Maine, the District of Columbia, Alaska, Nevada, Colorado and all three west coast states have legalized pot for recreational purposes. However, that does not mean drivers are supposed to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming the drug yet it seems that many may be doing just that. 

While those people and entities that pushed hard to legalize the use of marijuana may want to have others believe that it is completely safe, a new report issued by the Highway Loss Data Institute may suggest otherwise. After reviewing the results of a study that lasted four and three-quarters years, the group found that there had been a jump in the number of claims made for vehicle crashes in Colorado, Oregon and Washington after they had legalized pot for recreational use. Overall accident claims rose by 2.7 percent in just a couple of years.

Researchers evaluated data from not just the three states where the increase was seen but in other states were marijuana was not yet legal and compared the findings in the three states against those in the others, making appropriate allowances for differences in population, weather and more.

Clearly there may be reason for Kentucky residents to be concerned about drivers impaired by marijuana if they travel to those locations or if people in Kentucky illegally use pot. If a crash occurs it might be in their best interest to talk to a lawyer.

Source:, "Insurance study ties legal pot to boost in car crash claims," Solomon Banda, June 21, 2017

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