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Study Shows Fatal Car Accidents Spike by 16% Due to Legalizing Marijuana

April 16, 2021

THE UNITED STATES - A  new McGill University study reports that U.S. states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana have experienced a spike in fatal car accidents.  According to the new study, the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents grew by 15 percent, and the number of related deaths rose 16 percent.  The study suggests that if marijuana were to be legalized in all 50 states, the total number of annual traffic-related deaths may increase by 4,843.

The researchers involved in the study are urging government agencies and the healthcare industry to work on solutions to address the increase in fatal accidents. The researchers also warned that cannabis-impaired driving is an important public safety concern.

The researchers collected and reviewed data from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System.  The study's goal was to examine jurisdiction-specific rates of deadly accidents and associated deaths "before and after legalization," and the researchers discovered a "small but significant increase."  They believe that Canada could see about 308 additional accident-related deaths each year as a consequence of national marijuana legalization. 

It is well documented that most accidents can be prevented with a little extra care and safety education.  Since 1984, Montlick & Associates has been dedicated to keeping children and families safe on the roadway.  Our commitment runs deep through our extensive, award-winning public service programs that provide people the information they need to avoid injuries.  To learn about our Don't Drink and Drive Campaign, Child Passenger Safety Programs, Booster Seat Campaign and much more, visit and click on “community service,” or simply click here. You can also learn more about one of our newest driver and passenger safety programs by visiting

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Category: Auto Accidents

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.