Tax Return Day Shows 6% Increase in Traffic Related Deaths
The day many people dread will soon be upon us. Tax return day can be stressful and frustrating; especially if your taxes aren’t yet done.
One interesting study proved that traffic-related deaths were more common on tax return day than on the week before and after. From 1980 to 2009, there were on average 226 deaths due to traffic accidents on tax return day while only 213 per day a week prior to and a week after that nasty day.
Although the reason for the increase on this day cannot be proven, it has been suggested that people being stressed and not paying attention to the road, sleep deprivation from being up all night before, people racing to the post office to meet the deadline and people taking routes that are not in their regular routines may be reasons.
There are other days in the year that also have increased traffic-related death rates, such as Super Bowl Sunday, however, alcohol use is often attributed to some of these traffic related deaths whereas it doesn’t seem to be such a big factor with tax return day fatalities. The Journal of the American Medical Association hosted the data in Wednesday’s edition.
Despite the recent flood of people filing their taxes electronically, the number hasn’t decreased in previous years. In fact the tax return day fatalities is even higher in the last years of the study than it was in the 1980’s.
Perhaps we will see a slight change in the numbers in the future though. Last year 145 million returns were filed and approximately three-fourths were filed online.
I guess the moral of this story is to file your taxes before the deadline to avoid being out on the streets! Tax return day in the U.S. has been pushed back to April 17th this year. It usually falls on the 15th, but since that date falls on a Sunday this year and April 16th is Emancipation Day (a public holiday for Washington, D.C.), the IRS has postponed. In Canada, tax return day is April 30th.