Apr 11, 2012 – 1:11 AM ET
Drivers are more likely to get killed on income tax deadline day, according to a recent study led by Canadian medical researcher Donald Redelmeier.
Using U.S. data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that on average, 13 more people were killed on the road on tax deadline day (typically April 15th in the U.S.). As for why, Dr. Redelmeier speculated that it could be due to distraction, sleep deprivation, less tolerance towards hassles or a decreased police presence, since law enforcement are also busy with tax deadlines. Either way, the spike in road deaths is a definite drain on the public purse.
“In theory, the net losses equate to about $40 million in societal costs that could mathematically negate the income tax payments of about 5,000 average Americans each year,” said Dr. Redelmeier in a statement.
In a 2008 study, Dr. Redelmeier found that fatal crashes are also more likely on U.S. presidential election days.