Last week, a pair of studies came to seemingly opposite conclusions on whether rising marijuana use is causing an increase in car crashes in states that have legalized the drug.
The first, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, analyzed insurance claims for vehicle collisions filed between January 2012 and October 2016. The IIHS researchers compared claims in states that had recently legalized marijuana (Colorado, Washington and Oregon) with claims in similar neighboring states that hadn’t.
They found that over that time period, collisions claim frequencies in the states that had legalized marijuana were about 3 percent higher than would have been anticipated without legalization. The researchers characterized that number as small, but significant. Collision claim frequency refers to the number of claims filed divided by the number of insured vehicle years.
“The combined-state analysis shows that the first three states to legalize recreational marijuana have experienced more crashes,” said Matt Moore, senior vice president of the IIHS’s Highway Loss Data Institute, in a statement.
To read more of the original article, go to The Washington Post.