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How Has Cannabis Legalization Affected Car Accidents In Illinois?

The legalization of cannabis in the state of Illinois has seen some dramatic changes. One of the most important areas of concern was how the legalization could affect driving habits and accident rates. Now that marijuana is legal for personal consumption, many are asking how it may be affecting road safety.

If you were hit and injured by a driver with alcohol, medication, or illicit substances in their system, you may be able to file a claim against them for compensation. To learn more about your legal options, please connect with the seasoned Ogle County car accident attorneys at Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd.

Marijuana Legalization and Illinois Car Accidents

The fact is that whether the legalization of cannabis is causing more auto accidents is still unknown. The sample size may simply be too small at this point since marijuana was only legalized in 2020. Studies, however, have shown that cannabis legalization may have a negative impact on drivers and could lead to an increase in auto accidents.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, accident rates have shown a spike when cannabis is legalized for consumption. According to their study, crash rates spiked in several states that had legalized marijuana including Colorado, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. This makes a degree of sense, given marijuana’s effects on the human body and mind. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, users can experience a pleasant euphoria, heightened sensory perception, altered perception of time, and other effects.

Needless to say, a substance is taken that can alter your perceptions, and a sense of time does not mix well with operating a car or machinery. Driving while stoned (high) can become a very dangerous idea, especially for those who have not used marijuana before. While the effects of marijuana for many are considered to be pleasant, some can have effects on the opposite end of the spectrum. Marijuana for some may cause fear, anxiety, distrust, and other negative effects.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for measuring the effects and maintaining road safety as more people use marijuana is the ability of law enforcement to measure THC levels within a person. Marijuana use can leave measurable quantities within the human system for a period of weeks. A positive test, therefore, may not be indicative of someone driving under the influence but rather could be due to them having used marijuana days or weeks before.

Speak with an Illinois Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you believe you have been involved in an accident in or around the Rockford, Illinois area or simply want to learn more, the experienced Ogle County car accident lawyers at Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd., encourage you to reach out to us and call to schedule a completely free, no-obligation consultation at 800-962-0044. The aftermath of a car accident can mean severe injuries and substantial damages. Securing maximum recovery is essential.

The friendly staff at Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd., is here to help and will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.