A professor of medicine at the University of Toronto Still, study co-author Dr. Donald A. Redelmeier, is not recommending that people start stressing out over this. After looking at the traffic fatality numbers, discovering that Americans were about 18% more likely to die in accidents during polling hours. These deaths are all preventable by a small change in driver behavior while deaths like this are inevitable. A fatalistic attitude is not warranted during these times.
Redelmeier’s work with trauma patients drew his attention to this issue of automobile fatalities and the lack of attention they get in the world today. “If 100 people were to die in a train derailment, that would make front-page news. But the exact same number die on American roadways every day.”
The authors and researchers analyzed data about fatal accidents, focusing on presidential election days from 1976 to 2004. They looked specifically at accidents during polling hours and then looked at the fatality numbers for the Tuesdays immediately before and after the elections. A total of 3,417 people were killed in car accidents
The researchers estimated that resulted in an extra 189 deaths over the period studied. That means the risk of death was 18% higher than on any other Tuesday. Speeding and lack of attention and distraction while driving could be caused by heightened emotions of political change. In the end, no matter the winner of presidential election—that wouldn’t change the fatality rates.
Do drivers, on average, increase the amount of driving they do on a presidential election day? If so, by how much? That answer might help explain why the jump is so high. If anything, good advice would have to include following the speed limits, and getting rid of anything that could be a distraction while driving like alcohol usage. Plan on voting but leave yourself enough time to get to and from the polls with caution and safety, use your seatbelt, be courteous, be patient, be alert.