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Tax day can lead to car accidents in Oregon and across the country

Many people in Portland would agree that no one likes to file taxes. Each year around mid April, Americans are required to file state and federal tax returns. Understandably, this can be stressful for many. According to a recent study, it can also be dangerous and lead to injuries from motor vehicle collisions.

A professor at a major university has compared accident statistics for tax day with those for the same weekday a week before and after the tax due date. Each year over a span of 30 years, the study concluded that the number of deaths and people suffering injuries increased notably on tax day. In fact, the study suggests that roughly 13 more people die each year in car accidents on tax day.

According to the report published in the Journal of American Medicine, stressful deadlines -- such as the tax deadline -- can heighten the number of driver errors that occur. The number of pedestrians and passengers injured in crashes was also greater on tax day. Researchers note that they are unsure if the increase in passenger and pedestrian injuries is the result of distracted drivers or simply bad luck in being in the wrong place at the wrong time on tax day.

When Portland drivers find that they are under increased amounts of stress, authorities suggest that they minimize distractions and continue to drive with care. Such simple measures as using a seat belt, observing the speed limit and avoiding alcohol before driving can go a long ways toward preventing a collision involving injuries.

Source: CommonHealth, "Tax Day Hazardous To Health, Study Finds," Rachel Zimmerman, April 10, 2012

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