The normalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use is causing concern as drivers continue to get behind the wheel impaired.
17 states and Washington DC have legalized marijuana for recreational use, 19 states including Ohio have legalized the drug for medical use and 15 states are considering medical or adult use legislation this year.
There’s concern this could lead to an increase of people getting behind the wheel impaired.
“When you look at crash data in general 6 of the last seven years we’ve seen an increase in fatalities on our roadways,” explained Senior Manager Public Affairs Kimberly Schwind. “It’s something we need to focus on because impaired driving is one of the major contributing factors to the rise in fatalities on Ohio roadways.”
According to the Triple A Foundation for Traffic Safety those that use marijuana or alcohol and get behind the wheel become more dangerous drivers.
They’re more likely to speed, text, intentionally run red lights and drive aggressively than those who don’t.
“While it’s affects are different for individuals several studies have concluded that marijuana’s use impairs your ability to drive safely. Research also shows those that drive high greatly increase their risk of crash.” said Schwind.
Last year on Ohio roads the Ohio State Highway Patrol said they recorded an 11 percent increase in crashes involving both alcohol and drugs.