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They say there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. Now, a new Sunnybrook study has found these two inevitabilities share a scientific link: more fatal car crashes on tax filing day.
Like many of us, Dr. Donald Redelmeier has felt the stress of getting his taxes done on time. He was curious to know what impact that had on the road. (To provide a bit of context, Dr. Redelmeier thinks out of the box, but his studies are the stuff headlines are made of. For example, he was the first to uncover the dangerous link between texting and driving.) Turns out, 13 more Americans die on tax filing day, about the same spike seen on Superbowl Sunday.
|Fatal car crash risk is 6 per cent higher on |
tax day, according to Dr. Redelmeier's research.
It makes sense when you think about it. People could be up late trying to finish their taxes, or drinking trying to forget them. Tired, rushed or stressed drivers may forget to buckle up or follow simple road safety. While there are many possible explanations, Dr. Redelmeier says the end result is the same: many people are dying totally preventable deaths.
To get a better sense of the demeanor of last minute filers, I visited the frontlines last week. Gerry Campbell, with Liberty Tax Service, has spent the past 14 years filing people’s taxes. With his tidy desk situated at the back of a bustling office on the Danforth, Gerry has the perfect view of any ensuing chaos. Many of it comes his way in the form of rushed and frazzled people toting shopping bags full of receipts on the last day of filing. And while vast majority are organized and file early, let’s just say the findings of this study didn’t surprise him.
So what’s the take away? Most importantly, Dr. Redelmeier says simple road safety rules count. Buckle up and slow down. And remember that even if you filed early, or online, you’re still vulnerable to all the other drivers out there who may be rushing to meet a deadline. So be careful, and keep in mind that while taxes are necessary, they are certainly not worth dying for.
To read the full release and study, click here.