Roads More Dangerous on Tax Day

Tax debt is a major source of stress for some people.  But who knew tax time could cause such distress and turmoil on our nation’s roadways?

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that fatal motor vehicle accidents spike right around the middle of April each year.  The sharp increase in fatalities is believed to be associated with the stress of Tax Day.  The lead researcher, Donald Redelmeier, identified the following contributing factors:

  • stress
  • lack of sleep
  • alcohol use
  • less tolerance to other drivers

Wait, aren’t these the conditions we drive in every day?

The researchers studied data from the IRS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration between the years 1980 -2009.  Of the 30 tax days during that time span, there were a total of 226 fatal crashes.  In comparison, there were only 213 fatal crashes during the 60 control days.  Even though most people now file their taxes from their computer and don’t have to get in their car and drive down to the post office, fatalities have held steady over the years.

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