Will Legalizing Marijuana Affect Auto Insurance?

Will Legalizing Marijuana Affect Auto Insurance?

Will Legalizing Marijuana Affect Auto Insurance?

One of our team of car insurance pros in our Lake Worth, FL agency came across some interesting information. Based on some new research, it would appear that legalizing marijuana is contributing to an increase in auto accidents. Recreational use of marijuana is still not legal in the state of Florida, but medical marijuana has been approved. It’s just one more thing to take into account when you are reviewing your Florida auto insurance options. 

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study in Washington State, the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana, that indicates what AAA refers to as “a concerning number” of Washington State drivers involved in fatal crashes are testing positive for having recently used marijuana. 

Washington had approved medical marijuana in 1998. Voters in the state approved the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana by a vote of 55.7 percent to 44.3 percent in on Nov. 6. 2012. Currently Washington state law says that cannabis is legal for medical purposes and for any purpose by adults over 21.

Driving Under the Influence

According to AAA – The Auto Club Group, “The share of drivers who, after a fatal crash, tested positive for active THC – the drug’s main psychoactive ingredient – has doubled since the state legalized marijuana in December 2012. AAA believes the increase raises important traffic safety concerns for drivers across the country, because recreational marijuana use is now legal in 11 states and Washington, D.C.”

New research from the AAA Foundation found that between 2008 and 2012 an estimated 8.8 percent of Washington State drivers involved in fatal crashes tested positive for THC. That rate rose to 18 percent between 2013 and 2017.

Other findings from the study indicate:

  • Since 2012, nearly one in five (18%) drivers involved in fatal crashes were positive for THC.
  • After legalization, the average number of THC-positive drivers involved in a fatal crash jumped from 56 per year to 130.

If you have questions or concerns about the use of medical marijuana and how it might affect your Florida auto insurance rates, please contact us at B & B Insurance in Lantana, FL.

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