TORONTO, (UPI) — Drivers have an increased risk of getting into a fatal crash on the last day for filing U.S. income tax, a researcher in Canada found.
Study co-authors Dr. Donald Redelmeier and Christopher Yarnell, both of the University of Toronto, focused on the 6,783 people who died in U.S. vehicle crashes in the last 30 years on April 15 — or the deadline for filing federal and state income tax — compared to the week preceding tax day and the week that follows. This year, taxes are due on April 17 because the 15th falls on a Saturday.
The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found drivers on tax day have a 6 percent increased risk of a fatal crash on tax filing day.
Sleep deprivation, greater use of alcohol, lower tolerance for other drivers and the “unwanted distraction” of filing taxes could all contribute to an increase in accidents, Redelmeier told CNNMoney.
However, Redelmeier pointed out the increased risk does not just apply to late filers.
“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,” Redelmeier said. “You are surrounded by other drivers, any one of whom could change your life forever.”