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Research finds increase in fatal auto accidents on tax day

While it's no surprise that tax time can be stressful, it turns out that there is actually an increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents on tax day.

The recent study, which will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From there it was found that from 1980 until 2009, there were a total of 6,783 motor vehicle accident deaths on tax day.

Broken down, this means that there were 226 auto-related deaths on tax day. However, for one day a week before and after the deadline, there were only 213 deaths.

When looking at reasons why there appears to be an increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents on the day that taxes are due, researchers point to the fact that driver's may be driving in a rush to a post office in order to get taxes mailed out on time. This reckless driving combined with drivers not taking their regular commuting routes -- since many don't frequent the post office on a daily basis -- could be part of the reason for the increase in fatalities.

Additionally, the stress of taxes could also be a mental distraction for some, which in turn can lead to a driver getting into an accident simply for not paying proper attention to the road.

Lastly, some point to the fact that the majority of Americans actually file their taxes electronically. And while this may be easier for some, it is still very stressful as the ease means some wait until the last minute to finish their taxes.

Historically, taxes are due on April 15. However, this year, due to the fact that Sunday is April 15, and the next day is a holiday observed in Washington, D.C., this year taxes are due on Tuesday, April 17.

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