New Years, the Super Bowl, and more recently, marijuana users’ self-proclaimed holiday, 4/20 Day, all appear to be associated with increases in traffic fatalities. Risks that have long been linked to alcohol and driving on Super Bowl Sunday and New Year’s Eve are now associated with impaired driving on April 20th, aka 420 (four-twenty) Day, a holiday so-named for its relation to the teen code word for ‘smoking marijuana’.
Although the study linking the unofficial holiday and traffic fatalities lacks evidence on whether marijuana was specifically involved in any 4/20 crashes, research reveals a 12 percent increase in fatal car crashes on that day that are very similar to the magnitude of fatality accidents involving alcohol impaired driving found on Super Bowl Sunday and New Year’s Eve, raising the question of whether marijuana use is in fact the culprit. Certainly, these three days of the year appear to be particularly deadly and not surprisingly drugged or drunk driving figure prominently.
Of course, alcohol or drug impaired driving accidents are not limited to holidays. According to the CDC, over 10,000 people lost their lives in alcohol impaired crashes in 2015, representing nearly 30 percent of all traffic related deaths in the U.S. Drugs other than alcohol are involved in 16% of car crashes nationwide and marijuana use specifically increases the risk of being involved in a car crash by 25%. Disturbingly, there has been a marked increase in the number of people who are under the influence of marijuana while driving – an estimated 13% of nighttime, weekend drivers are driving with the drug in their systems.
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Drunk driving and drugged driving pose a serious risk to everyone across the nation and here in Iowa. If you or a family member has been injured in an Iowa car accident at the hands of an impaired driver, contact the Des Moines, Iowa drugged driving accident injury attorneys of Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for help today.
Source: Staples JA, Redelmeier DA. The April 20 Cannabis Celebration and Fatal Traffic Crashes in the United States. JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 12, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.8298