Driving Drunk Versus Driving Stoned—Which Is Worse, Kentucky?

If you know people in Kentucky who smoke pot, they strongly aver that smoking pot is safer than drinking alcohol. They point to the years of research findings that show how heavy alcohol consumption destroys the liver and increases the risk of a number of serious diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and pancreatitis. Excessive drinking often leads to troubled families and ruined relationships.

But is driving stoned safer than driving drunk?

One Convincing Study

Two economists—Daniel Rees of the University of Colorado Denver and Mark Anderson of Montana State University—analyzed traffic fatality statistics for 13 states that legalized medical marijuana between 1990 and 2009. Their findings? States that had passed medical marijuana laws had an average of nearly 9 percent fewer traffic fatalities.

Rees and Anderson stated that legalizing marijuana makes the highways safer. They have a couple of theories about why this occurs:

  1. Drunk drivers take more risks and driver faster than do drivers who have been smoking pot.
  2. People who are smoking pot don’t tend to go out as often as do people who are drinking.

Other Contributors to Fewer Fatalities

The researchers said that they had taken other factors into account when they did their study. Some other reasons for decreased fatalities include

  • seat belt laws;
  • stricter drunk-driving laws;
  • lower speed limits; and
  • improved safety features on cars.

If an impaired driver caused you injury and damage in a Kentucky car wreck, you need a Jefferson County accident attorney. Call Gray and White Law at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 to set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law
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