Tax Season Stress May Increase Fatal Car Wrecks

April 25, 2012

On tax day, the crash of your bank account might also lead to a crash on the roadways. A recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association is reporting that fatal accidents increase on or around tax day each year. Researcher's suspect a link between increased stress from limbo-ing through the tax code and carelessness on the roads.

Aside from fatalities, major car crashes also produce bad injuries with long lasting repercussions. It is critical to contact an auto accident attorney to get help navigating the aftermath of an accident.

When drivers head off their normal routes to get a stamp and mail taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, they may be more likely to get into an accident. Additionally, more people frequent bars after the dreaded tax filing is complete. Forbes notes that many bars offer more drink specials on and around tax day to ease the woes of exhausted and dreary taxpayers.

Data from the brief study, done by Dr. Donald Redelmeier, shows an increase by roughly six-percent of fatal accidents during the 30-day window surrounding tax day. Although Redelmeier's study did not pinpoint the increase of fatal crashes to a particular distraction, such as alcohol consumption or loss of sleep, the study did find the increase was not mere coincidence. The trend of more fatalities on tax day comes from a study of statistics for a span from 1980 to 2009.

In general, Illinois roadways are more dangerous this year. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, at least 235 drivers died this year from a traffic-related injury. This is up from 194 last year. At least 58 of these accidents happened in Cook County.

Car accidents resulting in serious injury or death can involve many complicated legal issues. The law holds drivers accountable for injuring others on the road. To determine if liability exists, our experienced car accident lawyers will carefully examine the details surrounding the crash. Drivers who act recklessly or negligently may be held responsible for the injuries they cause.

Drivers may also be held liable for prohibited activities, such as talking on the phone or texting while driving. Illinois is one of about ten states nationwide cracking down on drivers who text or browse the web on a cell phone while driving. California recently took similar steps to limit driver distractions by banning texting and all hand-held phone use on the road. The benefits appear huge. California fatalities dropped 22% two years after the new laws went into effect, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Last year in Illinois there were 920 traffic fatalities. A 22% drop would mean potentially saving 202 lives. Dangerous driving results from a plethora of activities such as drinking and driving, texting, talking on the phone, sleeping at the wheel, or even driving far over the speed limit.


Ironically, April is the U.S. Department of Transportation's distracted driving awareness month. The Department of Transportation encourages drivers to pay full attention to the road and pull over if it is absolutely necessary to take a call or look at your phone to see a map. Along with the general list of safety tips based on the study about tax day fatalities drivers should also avoid the roadway when they feel excessively stressed.

A bad day or a phone call from a friend is never a good reason to risk your life. But remember, if you are involved in an accident, make sure to contact a skilled car accident attorney. A knowledgeable attorney will help you make sense of all the steps you need to take after an accident to ensure your injuries and damages are taken care of.