Driving within three hours after smoking or ingesting marijuana nearly doubles a driver's risk of a vehicle accident as reported in a new Canadian study. The risk is very high for fatal crashes that can result in wrongful death insurance claims or lawsuits whether they involve auto accidents, truck accidents, or motorcycle accidents. This risk is only slightly less than that of drivers who drive drunk. Mark Asbridge, an associate professor of community health at Dalhousle University in Halifax, concluded that alcohol increases the risk of a crash at a higher level than pot. However marijuana makes it more difficult for drivers to judge distance and these drivers very often tailgate and swerve from lane to lane which ultimately reduces their reaction time and leads to these vehicle crashes. The researchers found that those driving under the influence of pot were actually almost twice as likely to have an auto accident then those drivers not impaired. Since pot dispensaries are open in the Palm Desert and Palm Springs area selling to those persons with prescriptions we probably have more impaired drivers on the Coachella Valley roads. Driving while acutely impaired is a criminal offense in all 50 states. The marijuana impaired driver with or without a prescription for the pot who causes a car crash may be arrested and later sued for any personal injury caused by the accident. That insurance claim will definitely raise the insurance rate of the negligent impaired driver. Contact the Palm Desert and Palm Springs personal injury lawyer at this firm for any auto accident insurance claim questions you may have. We are here to help.