It’s no secret that marijuana is becoming more acceptable in society. A number of states have legalized the drug’s use for medical purposes, and a few have even taken the step of legalizing its recreational use. While many people believe that marijuana is just as safe, if not safer, than alcohol, the reality is that it can pose certain safety risks that can be quite dangerous.
This is especially true when it comes to driving while under the influence of marijuana or another drug. According to the CDC, nearly 12 million motorists drove while high on marijuana last year alone. While this is still significantly less than the 20 million individuals who drove drunk last year, the statistic is still worrisome given that it is on the rise at a time when drunk driving rates are declining and the effects of the two substances are quite similar.
Marijuana can have a profound impact on a motorist’s ability to safely drive his or her car. It can slow reaction time, diminish concentration and render multitasking challenging. Any one of these shortcomings could be the catalyst for a serious car accident, whether that be veering into oncoming traffic, failing to stop for slowed traffic or neglecting to yield the right of way.
Sadly, there aren’t effective roadside tests that can be utilized by law enforcement to deter high driving, which means that innocent individuals will likely continue to be at risk of being harmed by one of these drivers for some time to come. Making matters worse is the fact that the injuries suffered in these wrecks can be quite extensive, thereby reshaping how victims live their lives. Fortunately, legal options may be available to those who have been harmed by negligent drivers. Discussing the matter with a qualified legal professional may be the best first step in seeking out compensation for damages suffered.