Early in February, an Illinois accident lawyer at our firm found an interesting article on the Chicago Tribune‘s website that discussed the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana. According to new research, “people who smoke marijuana within three hours of driving are twice as likely to cause a crash than someone who is sober.” When examining previous studies, researchers determined that people who drive high are more than two times as likely to be involved in a crash with a fatality, and 1.75 times as likely to be cause a crash that doesn’t involve a fatality. Conclusively, driving under the influence of marijuana impairs necessary driving skills, such as cognitive skills as well as motor skills.
Some cannabis legalization advocates make the point that even though driving while high is riskier and can cause more accidents than driving sober, it is still not as risky as driving drunk. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that close to 32% of all traffic fatalities are alcohol related, while other drugs, which would include marijuana, account for about 18% of traffic fatalities. The new research also states that, “drivers with a blood-alcohol content of .08 are about 2.7 times as likely to be involved in a car accident as a sober person.” Some say that people who drive high are more aware of their impairment, which makes them try to compensate for it by being extra alert and aware on the road; however, our attorneys do not encourage that behavior.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is completely avoidable and preventable. A Chicago auto accident attorney of ours wants to point out that marijuana is often used in combination with other drugs or alcohol, which can prove to be even more dangerous for drivers and the people they share the road with. The CDC also points out that every single day, close to 30 people in America alone die in car accidents that involve an impaired driver. Even though some may believe that driving high is ok and doesn’t effect motor or cognitive skills bad enough to keep them off the road, what they don’t understand is that they aren’t only putting themselves at risk, but they are also putting pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists in danger.
Our Illinois car accident attorneys want to reiterate that driving impaired is completely avoidable and preventable. Driving sober is always the safest bet, and allows drivers to use all of the necessary skills for driving without them being impaired. Research shows that people who smoke marijuana before driving are twice as likely than a sober person to be involved in a crash with a fatality. If you or a loved one has been involved where a driver was impaired, you may be able to hold wrongdoers accountable and receive fair compensation for damages or losses incurred. This type of accident can result in serious injuries or even death, which result in costly medical fees, hospital costs, and doctor’s appointments. Filing a lawsuit would not only help to receive compensation, but it would also bring the public’s attention to the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.