Stress, not crazy driving seems to be the cause
Ben Franklin’s famous quote about the two certainties in life (death and taxes) was eerily accurate. In fact, the two seem to be connected.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, traffic fatalities are 6% higher on tax day.
On average, there are 13 more auto-related deaths compared to control days exactly one week before and one week after.
Surprisingly, the rise in e-filing doesn’t appear to have affected the trend. Stress seems to be the primary factor, and not a deadline dash to the post office. Most accidents are the result of human error, and stress has been proven to negatively impact performance behind the wheel.
More research is needed to untangle the link between tax day and traffic deaths, said Dr. Ricardo Martinez, who headed the traffic safety administration in the 1990s. Among the outstanding questions: Does the increased risk come from a small number of really stressed-out drivers — last-minute filers, perhaps — or a large number of slightly edgy ones?
Either way, the researchers emphasized that stress is the issue in question here, not Uncle Sam.