Tax Day is filled with people filling out forms, rushing to pick up tax returns and then speeding to the post office to ensure they get sent out by midnight.
It's also apparently a good day to get into a car crash. The number of fatal car crashes increases by 6% on Tax Day, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That's 13 extra fatalities.
Why? And what can you do to prevent Tax Day car crashes?
There's no concrete answer, but it's likely a combination of stress, strange routes and alcohol. The stress of filing taxes and meeting a deadline can distract drivers and can cause them to speed. Many also take different routes, whether to drop by the post office or a tax preparer's office, explains the New York Daily News.
And then there's alcohol, which Forbes points out is cheap and plentiful come Tax Day. Restaurants and bars often offer Tax Day specials, which doesn't bode well for stressed individuals who need to get back behind the wheel.
While you can't avoid the stress of Tax Day, you can certainly ease it. This might also calm your need to hit the bottle. The first thing you can do to is file for an extension. Give yourself up to six extra months to prepare your taxes and get them mailed. A more leisurely drive to the post office might prevent a Tax Day car crash.
You could also try e-filing. Just copy the numbers on your paper form into the online system and press send. The forms also do basic math. You can then have a drink in the safety of your home.
If it's too late for you to take advantage of these options, keep them in mind for next year. Tax Day car crashes are an annual occurrence, and it's never too late to get safe.
- Deadly car crashes spike 6 percent on tax day, study finds (MSNBC)
- April 15th is Coming: What If You Can't Pay Your Taxes? (FindLaw's Common Law)
- IRS Offers Last Minute Tips for Filing Taxes (FindLaw's Common Law)