Does marijuana use increase the risk of automobile accidents? Is there an increase in the number of Kansans filing personal injury claims following accidents with drivers who are high? Both medical and recreational marijuana are currently illegal in Kansas. However, medical and recreational use is legal in neighboring Colorado. Earlier this summer, legislators in Kansas voted down proposals to legalize medical marijuana. Legalization and enforcement were hot topics in this year's elections and are likely to arise again in the future.
Statewide, law enforcement has recorded an increase in the number of drugged drivers and marijuana related arrests. In 2014, there were 2,871 arrests. As of 2016, that number rose sharply to 3,828. The data indicates that legalization in Colorado and other states may be increasing rates of usage in Kansas.
Data gathered by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) showed that, in 2015, 57% of drivers who suffered a fatality tested positive for drugs. Of these, 35.6% tested positive for marijuana. Drug use among drivers is increasing nationwide. Roadside surveys collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show an increase in the presence of marijuana from 12.4% in 2007 to 15% in 2014. The rate was roughly the same on weekdays as it was on weekend nights. The NHTSA estimates that drivers who use marijuana and drive while high are 25% more likely to be involved in an accident that may lead to personal injury claims.
Legalized marijuana is linked to an increased crash risk. Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have all recorded increased rates of automobile accidents since legalizing marijuana. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), accidents have risen nearly 14% in Colorado, 6% in Washington, and 4.5% in Oregon.
Drug use rates in Kansas show an increased number of residents, including truck drivers, using marijuana illegally. While only 6.71% of Kansas residents reported using illicit drugs including marijuana in 2010, this represents a considerable number of people who can get behind the wheel and cause an accident that results in personal injury claims.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a car crash lawyer, attorney, and abogado with attorneys, lawyers, and abogados who represent clients in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois who experience personal injuries in motor vehicle accidents and the survivors of those who suffer a wrongful death. Whether the accident occurred in Wichita, Liberal, Garden City, Sylvan Grove, Bunker HIll, Gorham, Victoria, Holyrood, Claflin, Ellinwood, Chase, Carneiro, Tescott, Bennington, Assaria, McPherson, Catharine, Albert, Stull, Perry, Tonganoxie, Oskaloosa, Hoyt, Topeka, Baldwin City, Gardner, Olathe, Overland Park, Osawatomie, Drexel, Admire, Rossville, Silver Lake, Louisburg, Americus, Lansing, Nebraska City, Shenandoah, Clarinda, Conception, Savannah, Hiawatha, Sabetha, Seneca, Fairbury, Gibbon, Kearney, Lexington, David City, Central City, York, or elsewhere in these states, our team pursues personal injury claims our clients need to recover from their injuries.
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