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Will cannabis legalization lead to more car accidents?

Residents of Ontario are anxiously awaiting the imminent legalization of marijuana — for different reasons. While cannabis users might be thrilled with the prospect, others are considering the impact it will have on road safety. As it is, too many car accidents result from alcohol-impaired driving, and some wonder how many more crashes will be caused by cannabis-impaired drivers.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada recently ordered a survey, which indicated that almost eight in 10 Canadians feared that cannabis impairment would be prevalent among drivers when it becomes legal to use the drug. The poll also revealed that a significant percentage of cannabis users in Canada have driven vehicles after consuming the drug, or were passengers of marijuana-impaired drivers. What is even more concerning is the fact that almost half the pot-using respondents indicated that they had no idea how long to wait after consuming marijuana before it is safe to drive.

Many people feel that not enough emphasis is put on the risks of driving while impaired by cannabis. Further concern exists about the fact that efficient drug-screening equipment has not yet been approved by the federal government, which means that there is no basis for determining the level of cannabis-impairment. This also limits the resources of municipalities to enforce laws relating to cannabis-impaired driving.

Victims of car accidents in Ontario who believe the at-fault drivers were under the influence of pot might have questions about their legal rights to pursue financial relief. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know the latest laws and local court procedures. He or she can explain the available options and provide the necessary support and guidance throughout any subsequent legal proceedings.

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