Study links car crashes to marijuana in states where pot is legal

FOX21 News file photo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A new study that links car crashes to marijuana shows car accidents have gone up almost three percent in three states where it is legal.

The study, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute, found collision claims in Colorado, Washington and Oregon went up 2.7 percent in the years since legal pot sales began when compared with surrounding states.

Researchers accounted for factors such as the number of cars on the road in the study and control states, age and gender of drivers, weather and even whether the driver making a claim was employed.

Additionally, researchers found when comparing these states to immediate surrounding states with similar crash frequency patterns, claims were 14 percent higher in Colorado, 6.2 percent higher in Washington and 4.5 percent higher in Oregon.

Marijuana advocates question the study’s comparison of states with such varied populations.

Insurance industry groups have been keeping a close watch on claims when auto accidents across the country began to go up in 2013 after more than a decade of steady decline.

>> Click here to view the full study.

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