Fatal crashes attributed to marijuana tripled from 1999 to 2010

Although many people only associate driving under the influence with alcohol, drugged driving, or driving under the influence of legal or illegal drugs, has the potential to be just as dangerous. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "10 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the year prior to being surveyed." This does not take into account legal drugs, such as prescription drugs or marijuana in some states.

Drivers under the influence of marijuana, which is the most common drug involved in drugged driving crashes, are more distracted, have a reduced capability to react, and weave through lanes more often. It could also lead to reduced coordination and reaction time, as well as poor judgment.

Looking at the data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System from 1999-2010, researchers found that the number of fatal crashes involving marijuana tripled during that period of time, according to the American Journal of Epidemiology. In 1999, 3.2 percent of the non-alcohol drugs associated with fatal crashes involved marijuana. In 2010, that percent had risen to 12.2 percent. Despite the increase in fatal car crashes, there was no significant difference in the number of people who self-reported driving under the influence of other drugs not including alcohol in that same time period.

The study only looked at data from six states, including West Virginia, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Illinois and California. Some of the rise might be associated with medical marijuana laws enacted in three of the states: Hawaii, Rhode Island, and California. The numbers for California saw a significant increase after the legalization of medical marijuana. As marijuana continues to be legalized for medical use and recreational use, there is the chance that it might continue to rise despite drugged driving laws. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

San Antonio Office
8207 Callaghan Road
Suite 250
San Antonio Office
San Antonio, TX 78230

Fax: 210-366-4791
Map & Directions

Lubbock Office
4920 S. Loop 289
Suite 103A
Lubbock Office
Lubbock, TX 79414

Fax: 806-780-4358
Map & Directions

Odessa Office
519 Golder Ave.
Odessa Office
Odessa, TX 79761

Fax: 432-362-4624
Map & Directions

Abilene Office
500 Chestnut Street
Suite 213
Abilene Office (By Appointment Only)
Abilene, TX 79602

Fax: 325-437-5786
Map & Directions