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Marijuana Impaired Fatal Crashes on the Rise in California

Since marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in California, impaired driving accidents have increased. According to a study from the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention in Columbia, in 1999, marijuana impaired driving made up 16 percent of accident fatalities, and in 2010, that number is 28 percent.

Alcohol-related deaths remain steady at about 40 percent of all accident fatalities, but researchers worry that if the current trend continues, marijuana-impaired deaths will overtake alcohol as the number one cause of death from impaired drivers.

Two Die in Tragic Fiery Crash Cause by Alleged Impaired Driver

In a recent, tragic example, on Wednesday afternoon, November 7, 2019, two people died in a fiery crash caused by an alleged marijuana-impaired driver. According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident happened when a Honda rear-ended a Mercedes Benz without stopping or slowing which caused the Mercedes to spin into another lane and then was hit by a Chevy pickup.

The Mercedes caught fire killing both occupants. The pickup ended up on it’s hood, and its two occupants were hospitalized. The driver of the Honda was also injured and was arrested and charged with impaired driving and vehicular manslaughter.

Injuries from Marijuana Impaired Driving Accidents

Once a driver has at least a .08 BAC, the chance of getting into a fatal car crash goes up 13 times higher, and when marijuana is added to the alcohol, then the risk goes up to 24 times. Marijuana slows down a driver’s reaction time contributing to the likelihood of a crash.

Many times, like the accident mentioned above, the driver hits another car without stepping on the brake or taking any action to avert the collision. The violence of these crashes tends to cause certain common injuries:

  • Blunt Force Trauma
  • Head Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Broken Arms/Legs
  • Broken and Displaced Ribs
  • Chest Compressions
  • Organ Damage
  • Internal Injuries/Bleeding
  • Air bag injuries

Injured by an Impaired Driver?

After any accident involving a serious injury in the Central Valley, contact attorney Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice and the personalized attention to detail their case deserves.

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