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Might be wise to stay away from Seattle roads on tax day

As April 17 keeps creeping closer and closer, many Seattle residents may be busily finishing up their taxes before the filing deadline. Those who are planning on dropping off their taxes at the last possible second may want to rethink their plans. According to a new study, fatal car accidents spike on the date of the tax deadline.

The study was completed by the Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto. Researchers reviewed more than 30 years of U.S. highway data in a comparison of Tax Day crashes with other days in April. The study revealed that Tax Day sees an average of 13 more traffic fatalities across the country compared with other days. This means that the risk of getting in a car accident Tuesday is 6 percent higher than on other days this month.

The phenomenon seems to involve people 65 and younger, according to the study. The uptick is similar to that which is seen on Super Bowl Sundays, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It is not exactly clear why Tax Day is more dangerous than other days. Researchers thought that the stress of the tax deadline may affect the driving skills of some people while it also may be true that an increased number of drunk drivers are on the road on Tax Day. Regardless of what is causing this increase, it is very important to remind people not to let stress impact their driving skills and not to drink and drive.

Source: NPR, "Drive On Tax Day At Your Own Risk," Scott Hensley, April 11, 2011

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