Fatal Crashes Spike Near Tax Day

Stress can lead to traffic accidents: researchers

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 11, 2012 7:18 AM CDT

(Newser) – As if Tax Day isn't depressing enough, it turns out you're also more likely to die in a traffic accident on or around April 15. Between 1980 and 2009, traffic accident deaths were an average of 6% higher on tax filing day than they were on a day one week before or after, according to new research in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers believe the stress, fatigue, and alcohol use surrounding Tax Day are likely to blame, Bloomberg reports.

The study found 226 fatal crashes on filing days, compared to 213 fatal accidents on control days, and e-filing hasn't made a difference in the trend. "An increase of risk in this magnitude is about the same as what we observe on Super Bowl Sunday, a time notorious in the US for drinking and driving," says the lead researcher. "Our research suggests that stressful deadlines can contribute to driver error that can contribute to fatal crashes."

In this April 15, 2010 file photo, a motorist drops off tax return forms before the deadline outside the Pasadena Post office in Pasadena, Calif.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
Motorists drop their tax return forms before today's deadline outside the Pasadena Post office in Pasadena, Calif. on Thursday, April 15, 2010.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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