Crash claims up 2.7% in first states to legalize pot

Insurance industry groups have noted that auto accidents in the U.S. began to rise in 2013

An insurance study links increased car crash claims to legalized recreational marijuana.

The Highway Loss Data Institute, a leading insurance research group in the U.S., released the results Thursday saying the study found collision claims in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon went up 2.7% in the years since legal pot sales began when compared with surrounding states.

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Marijuana advocates question the study’s comparison of states with such varied populations.

Researchers accounted for factors such as the number of vehicles on the road in the study and control states, age and gender of drivers, weather and even whether the driver making a claim was employed. Neighbouring states with similar fluctuations in claims were used for comparison.

From the archives: Driving high, legally

Insurance industry groups have been keeping a close watch on claims when auto accidents across the country began to go up in 2013 after more than a decade of steady decline.

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Transcontinental Media G.P.