Cannabis legalization in Canada has shown “no statistically significant change in average cost per claim and claims frequency,” according to a new report from the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CASE). In other words, the legalization of cannabis has not increased the number of road accidents in Canada.
“The literature review shows that while cannabis impairment affects driving behavior, driving behavior is not always riskier; for example, slower speeds and longer following distances have been reported from cannabis-intoxicated drivers,” the study titled Assessing the Impact of Marijuana Decriminalization on Vehicle Accident Experience.
“Observational studies of road accidents report mixed results, most often not detecting significant effects, especially in the long term. »
Cannabis was legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018. In the months and years since legalization, industry players have reported little to no effect on auto claims.
For the CIA/CAS study published on December 7, Canadian and American data from 2016 to 2019 was used, including official reports of private vehicle collisions and losses in Canada, fatal accidents and factors. weather in the United States. To isolate and therefore rule out the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, data from 2020 or later is not used. For each data source, statistical and machine learning models were chosen to account for the different sources of variability.
The analysis of the 10 Canadian regions accounted for regional differences and modeled a basic linear trend that was also observed in the pre-legalization data alone.
“The analysis showed no statistically significant change in the average cost per claim and claims frequency following the legalization of cannabis in Canada,” the report states. “Quarterly data available for Quebec led to similar conclusions….. The study did not detect any statistically significant persistent impacts of decriminalization. »
Canadian data was from “Private Vehicle Collisions by Accident Year” in the General Insurance Statistical Agency Annual Reports (which includes insurance information for most Canadian regions, excluding insurance plans). public automobiles) and the Groupement des assureurs automobiles in Quebec.
“Methods used in this research include enhanced statistical models, machine learning, and other data science techniques. The models used high-resolution weather data to account for the effects of weather factors,” the report authors noted.
“The results for claims frequency per 100 vehicles lead to the same conclusions as the results for average cost per claim,” implying no significant effects,” the report states.
This is enough to revive the debate on the permissible THC level while driving and the means of measuring the impairment of abilities rather than a strict rate.