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Colorado Saw The Largest Estimated Increase In Claim Frequency — 14 Percent More Than Its Bordering States, While Washington State Was 6 Percent Greater And Oregon Had A 4 Percent Increase.

mj-collisions.png The HLDI is affiliated with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit research organization that usually focuses on figuring out which cars are safest . The group is funded by auto insurance companies, which have a vested interest in not having to pay claims and — of course — hold a bias against impaired driving of any kind. According to the HLDI, past researchers haven’t been able to “definitively connect marijuana use with real-world crashes,” and even a federal study failed to find such a link. “Studies on the effects of legalizing marijuana for medical use have also been inconclusive,” said the HLDI. Instead, the group focused on three states — Colorado, where legal marijuana retail sales started in 2014 , as well as Oregon and Washington, where sales began in 2015 — and compared them to the collision claims in neighboring states such as Nevada and Utah, parts of which now allow only medical marijuana. It also factored in statistics regarding the three states where recreational use is now legal from before it became available to the general public. Colorado saw the largest medical marijuana estimated increase in claim frequency — 14 percent more than its bordering states, while Washington state was 6 percent greater and Oregon had a 4 percent increase. Allowing for the total control group, “the combined effect for the three states was a smaller, but still significant at 3 percent,” said HLDI Vice President Matt Moore. The group used collision claims because they are the most frequent kind insurers receive. Drivers file these claims for damage to their vehicle in a crash with an object or with another vehicle, generally when the driver is at fault, the HLDI said. The HLDI said it’s preparing for more of these studies and has already begun a “large-scale case-control study” in Oregon to find out if usage could be causing automotive injuries.

To read more visit http://www.cbsnews.com/news/legal-pot-and-car-crashes-yes-theres-a-link/

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