CNNMoney -- Another reason to file your taxes online or early...it could save your life. That's because, a new study states: the odds of getting into a fatal crash increase by 6% on tax filing day!
The study was published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers, Dr. Donald Redelmeier and Dr. Christopher Yarnell of Toronto University, told CNN Monday: "Tax days are associated with an increase in fatal crash risk, which is similar in magnitude to the increase in crashes on Super Bowl Sunday."
Doctors focused the study on the 6,783 people who died in car crashes in the US over the last 30 years on April 15, compared to the week preceding tax day and the week that comes after. The results found a nationwide average increase of 13 fatalities on tax day, which is a 6% increase. This year, taxes are due on April 17.
Why is that? One explanation that researchers came up with is that stressful deadlines lead to driver distraction and worsen short-term human error," Dr. Redelmeier told CNNMoney.
He said that sleep deprivation, greater use of alcohol, lower tolerance for other drivers, and the "unwanted distraction" of filing taxes could all contribute to a jump in accidents.
Redelmeier added that the heightened risk does not just apply to late filers, emphasizing that everyone is at risk throughout the day.
"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."