Tax Day may be two days late this year, but that doesn’t mean the roads will be any safer than in years past. A study published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association reveals fatal car accidents increase by six percent on Tax Day. According to the Chicago Tribune, the study found 6,783 traffic-related deaths have occurred on Tax Day since 1980, an average of 226 per year. The study’s lead author, Dr. Donald Redelmeier, then compared those numbers with auto fatalities one day a week before Tax Day and one day a week after. The results showed the average number of automobile deaths decreased to an average of 213 per year.
“One explanation is that stressful deadlines lead to driver distraction and worsen short-term human error,” Dr. Redelmeier told CNN.
Redelmeier suggests that lack of sleep, increased alcohol consumption, lack of patience for other drivers and an overall increase in stress from filing taxes contribute to the higher incident of fatal accidents. The study also found that the rise of e-filing had little to no effect on the number of fatalities, mainly because those who file online or file early are not the drivers causing accidents.
“Even if you file early, it does not mean that you are immune to the phenomenon, because of the shared nature of most roadway crashes,” said Dr. Redelmeier. “You are surrounded by other drivers, any one of whom could change your life forever.”
Tax Day this year is next Tuesday, April 17. Whether you’ve filed your taxes already or will be dropping your paperwork in the mail next Tuesday, always remember to slow down, keep your eyes on the road and look out for your fellow drivers. It’s not the end of the world if you’re five minutes late to the post office, but it can be the end of a life if you don’t drive safely to get there.
If you or a loved one has been severely injured from a catastrophic automobile accident, please contact our office immediately for a free consultation. You can also learn more about GoldenbergLaw, PLLC by visiting our website or our auto safety resource center.
For more information on the American Medical Association study, visit the following links: