While it is well-documented that drinking and driving results in countless injuries and deaths each year, there hasn’t been quite so much research conducted on the impact of marijuana use and car accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 12 million people admitted to driving after using marijuana. It is illegal to drive after using marijuana or any other mind-altering substance, but unlike drinking and driving where there are blood and breath tests to determine whether a person has been drinking and driving, with marijuana use, there is no readily available blood or breath test. This makes it very difficult for law enforcement to always accurately assess whether a person was smoking right before a traffic violation or stop. Blood tests can generally detect whether a person has smoked marijuana in the last month, though with heavier users, marijuana may be detectable in a person’s system as long as 30 days or longer after the last use. This means that blood tests aren’t a good indication that a person has been smoking or using marijuana right before driving or that a person was under the influence. A person can be completely sober and still test positive for THC in a blood test.
Police officers may still have other ways to determine whether a person was smoking or using marijuana right before an accident. For example, the driver’s behavior before the crash, the appearance of the driver, roadside sobriety tests, and the presence of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia inside a vehicle can all be used as evidence that a person might have been smoking before an accident. While a blood test can’t prove that a person was under the influence while driving, studies have shown that individuals with THC in their systems are more likely to be at fault for accidents. Witness testimony and other circumstantial evidence might also be used when police suspect that a person might have been driving while under the influence.
If you have been hurt in a car accident in which the other driver was found guilty of smoking or using marijuana while driving, or suspect that the other driver might have been under the influence, you and your family might be able to seek damages for your losses. The Robson Law Firm is an Austin, Texas personal injury law firm that may be able to assist you and your family in seeking damages for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Have questions about your rights? Reach out to the Robson Law Firm today.
Risks of Using Marijuana and Driving
Marijuana use can impact drivers in a variety of ways. For example, marijuana use can impact a person’s judgement, coordination, concentration, spatial awareness, sense of time, memory, and can increase tiredness, distraction, and result in slowed reaction time. All of these impacts can severely limit a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. According to Very Well Mind, marijuana use has been linked to increased risk of car accidents. While the studies vary, marijuana use can double a driver’s risk of a crash. And research indicates that the more a person smokes, the more at risk of an accident he or she might be. Unfortunately, unlike drinking and driving where there is strong research to show the risk, and strong stigma associated with drinking and driving, the same level of research hasn’t been performed on marijuana use and risks. That said, marijuana use and driving while under the influence is illegal. Individuals who have been hurt in a car accident due to another person’s choice to drive while under the influence of marijuana may have the right to seek damages for their losses. If you or someone you love was hurt in a car accident where marijuana use is suspected or where the other driver was charged with driving while under the influence, you may have the right to seek damages. The Robson Law Firm is a personal injury law firm in Austin, Texas that may be able to help you with your claim.
Do I Have a Car Accident Claim?
Do you have a car accident claim? The personal injury lawyers at the Robson Law Firm is a personal injury law firm in Austin, Texas that may be able to review your case, identify negligent parties, and fight for your rights. We offer a free initial consultation to our clients during which we can offer you and your family an honest assessment of your case and a guide to the next steps. Have questions? Reach out to the Robson Law Firm today. We are here to help you. Or, you can reach out to USAttorneys.com to get connected with one of our attorneys.