Study shows more people get into accidents when trying to do last-minute tax filing

Doing taxes can be stressful, especially if you wait until the 11th hour to file them.  And now a study suggests that if you are one of those procrastinators, there is a chance you could end up in a deadly car accident on Tax Day.

Researchers looked at data over a 30-year period and founds 6,783 traffic-related deaths on Tax Day, according to an article in USA Today.  That equals to 226 per day.  When they looked at the number of accidents on the day before and day after, the number was down to 213 accidents.

There are several reasons that could contribute to the higher number on that particular day.  Drivers racing to get to the post office, or the stress of taxes could contribute to human error.  Drivers may also be more likely to get into an accident when driving a route they're not familiar with, like driving to the post office to mail a tax return.

Not everyone agrees with the findings.  Dr. Mark Nunnally, an associate professor at the University of Chicago who studies safety, tells USA Today that the results are just speculation.  He said reasons for the increases in the study are unknown.

The study was done beginning in 1980, six years before electronic tax filing started.  And even though e-filing became increasingly popular, it appeared to have no effect on Tax Day deaths, which also increased according to researchers.

Taxes are due 2 days later than usual this year, on April 17.  The IRS pushed the date back because April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is Emancipation Day, a public holiday celebrated in Washington D.C.

The study on taxes and crashes is being published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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