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 |  Dec 01 2010, 11:57 AM

Here’s an alarming new stat – according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost one in five drivers in the U.S. who died in car crashes tested positive for drugs.

A statement released recently from the NHTSA says that of drivers tested after dying in car crashes last year, 18 percent had drugs in their bodies. That number is up from 13 percent in 2005. In 2009, 63 percent of the 21,798 drivers who died in accidents were tested.

“Today’s report provides a warning signal that too many Americans are driving after having taken drugs, not realizing the potential for putting themselves and others on the highway at risk,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

This study is the NHTSA’s first analysis of drugged-driving deaths, and looked at crashes from 2005 to 2009 where illicit and some prescription drugs were used.

[Source: Automotive News]