Study: Fatal car crashes increase on tax deadline day
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Study: Fatal car crashes increase on tax deadline day

You might want to think twice about getting into a car or strolling down a road on April 17 this year. A new study has found that more people die in car crashes on the day U.S. income taxes are due than on other comparable days.

The risk of dying in an auto accident as a driver, passenger or even a pedestrian increases 6 percent compared with a day from a week earlier or a week later, according to the study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“An increase of risk in this magnitude is about the same as what we observe on Super Bowl Sunday, a time notorious in the U.S. for drinking and driving,” lead researcher Donald A. Redelmeier, a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto in Canada, told Bloomberg Businessweek.

The reasons deadly auto accidents spike on tax filing day? The study suggests stress, lack of sleep, alcohol use and less tolerance of other drivers distract tax-filers behind the wheel, MSNBC reported.

“All of a sudden there’s one source of stress that’s onerous, synchronized, repeated and applies to a huge community,” Redelmeier told MSNBC. About 20 percent of all taxpayers wait until the last minute to file, according to MSNBC.

The researchers looked at 30 years’ worth of tax filing days and concluded the electronic tax filing hasn’t made the roads safer, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

“Our research suggests that stressful deadlines can contribute to driver error that can contribute to fatal crashes,” Redelmeier told Bloomberg Businessweek. “People have, for a long time, speculated that psychological stress may contribute to real world crashes, but this is the first study to pin that down.”

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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270 comments
Apr 10, 2012, 10:45 pm
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An awful story, based on ... well, we have no idea, because the statistical framework has not been reported.

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