WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- Almost one in five drivers in the U.S. who died in car crashes tested positive for drugs, according to the U.S. highway-safety regulator.
Of drivers tested after dying in car crashes last year, 18 percent had drugs in their bodies, up from 13 percent in 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement today. Sixty-three percent of the 21,798 drivers who died in accidents in 2009 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,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said in the statement. The study is the agency's first analysis of drugged-driving deaths.
The study, which included illicit and some prescription drugs, looked at crashes from 2005 to 2009.