Benjamin Franklin once said there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. Now, researchers have found that taxes might make death just a little more certain.
Deaths from traffic accidents rise 6% on tax day, that mid-April paroxysm of collective financial agony, according to a study published in Wednesday’s edition of the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
A pair of Canadian researchers tallied up U.S. tax day traffic fatalities for each year between 1980 and 2009, then compared the figures to those from two “control” days, exactly one week before and one week after. On average, they found, there were 226 deaths on tax day — 13 more than on non-tax days.
The rise in e-filing — which would presumably keep procrastinators from speeding recklessly to the nearest post office — doesn’t appear to have put a dent in the trend, said Dr. Donald Redelmeier of the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, who led the study.