A new report done by researchers claims marijuana is having a big effect on the number of car crashes in the state of Colorado. That big effect, by the way, is not a positive effect either. The experts are saying that ever since marijuana has become legalized in several states, that motor vehicle crashes have increased.

Colorado, Washington, and Oregon have reported 3 percent more collision claims overall than would have occurred without marijuana’s legalization, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

Facts and Findings Concerning Legalization of Marijuana and its Impact on Car Accidents

Car Accidents in Colorado on the Rise After Pot Legalized | Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer

Car Accidents in Colorado on the Rise After Pot Legalized | Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer

The following facts and findings were gathered from news reports and government agencies concerning the impacts of marijuana on car accidents:1

  • More drivers admit they got stoned before being involved in a car accident, the HLDI study found.
  • Researchers have found that those using marijuana who were in the driver’s seat of a simulator or on-the-road exhibited degraded driving performances.
  • Marijuana legalization is such a new phenomenon that studies have shown conflicting outcomes, including more than double the number of car accidents to those studies showing no connection at all to marijuana ingestion and car accidents.
  • In 2012, Colorado and Washington were the first two states to legalize recreation marijuana.
  • HLDI’s study used neighboring states as controls to examine crash claims before and after the law changed to legalize marijuana in those states.
  • The study looked at collision claims spanning between January 2012 to October 2016, and vehicle models ranging in dates from 1981 to 2017.
  • Some of the other controls captured by the study included rated driver population data, a mixture of urban versus rural population, insured vehicle fleets, unemployment, seasons, and weather.
  • Colorado ranked first and saw the largest number of collision claims compared to the control states. The increase in claims was 14 percent more than neighboring states (Utah, Nebraska, and Wyoming).

Signs of a Stoned Driver

The following are some short-term side-effects that law enforcement look for in drivers, who they suspect of being high on marijuana while driving, according to the American Addiction Centers:

  • Driver looks panicky or very anxiety ridden.
  • Driver has poor muscle and limb coordination.
  • Driver has delayed reaction times and abilities.
  • Driver exhibits initial liveliness.
  • Driver has increased heart rate.
  • Driver has distorted sense perception.
  • Driver has red eyes.

Contact a Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer at Wills Law, P.C.

If you or a loved one been charged with driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), then you need an experienced defense attorney on your side now. You need Colorado Springs Personal Injury Lawyer Wm Andrew “Drew” Wills II to champion your cause, because he has more than 30 years of experience and understands how the criminal justice system works. He’ll help you build the strongest defense case to help you defend your rights and freedom.

For more information on how Drew can help your DUID case, call (719) 633-8500 or email him using the form on this page to schedule a free initial consultation. Drew’s office is based in Colorado Springs, but he also accepts clients throughout El Paso County and Colorado.


1“Study: Colorado Sees Car Crash Claim Rates Increase After Legalization of Marijuana” published in Fox 31 News, June 2017.