Many people claim that there is no significant rise in traffic accidents for places that have legalized marijuana. At least, if there is a rise, it is less than that of those who drink and drive. Long-term studies have yet to be completed – most states have only had medical marijuana legalized for just a few years and recreational marijuana legalized for far less time. However, science has shown a correlation between increased fatal car crashes and a celebrated stoner holiday. The LA Times reports on the increase of fatal car crashes on April 20th.
Two doctors are urging people to make sure that they take care on April 20th. They’re not asking people to celebrate the medicinal properties of cannabis. Instead, they are imploring people to be on the lookout for those who choose to celebrate and then get behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has data that shows that the chances of getting into a fatal wreck after 4:20 on 4/20 rises about 12% when compared to other days not associated with the stoner holiday.
The increase is similar in comparison to the increased risk of an accident on Super Bowl Sunday when people gather and drink wine, beer, and other alcohol and then drive home after the party.
The data that the researchers gathered began in 1992 – the year that the popular magazine High Times turned 4/20 into a counterculture cannabis celebration and ended in 2016 which is the most recent year statistics were available.
In that time frame, they found that there were 1,369 fatal crashes between 4:20 pm and 11:59 p.m. A crash was considered a fatality if at least one person died of their injuries within 30 days of the accident.
That is the equivalent to 7.21 crashes per hour.