Driving To/From Polls May Be Hazardous To Your Health

Richard Chen
by Richard Chen
driving to from polls may be hazardous to your health

The Journal of the American Medical Association (subscription required for full text) offers a study on car and pedestrian death rates on Presidential Election Days (E.D., believe it or not). When compared to the day before and day afterwards, there was a small but consistent rise every time we’ve elected a president since 1976, approximately 24 more deaths each E.D. This small (18% overall) fatality increase was seen in all parts of the country, across different age groups and genders, drivers and pedestrians, shorter vs. longer polling hours, and Democratic vs. Republican victor. The authors noted that Election Day was deadlier than Super Bowl Sunday, although did not compare these data to more notorious periods such as New Year’s Day and Independence. The Canadian researchers (takes an outsider to figure this out) still recommend participating in democracy, but to avoid speeding as well as alcohol and other distractions. (Drinking while voting is probably not a wise activity). As they say in Chicago, vote early, and vote often.

Join the conversation
4 of 8 comments
  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Oct 02, 2008

    Am considering not even voting. My grandfather did alot of that but I teased him about it. Maybe he saw a few more decades of no real good choices. Maybe I'll just go vote for some third Libertarian candidate just because...

  • Violent_k Violent_k on Oct 02, 2008
    Drinking while voting is probably not a wise activity I respectfully disagree, kind sir.
  • on Oct 02, 2008
    (Drinking while voting is probably not a wise activity). Yes, do like me and wait until after voting. With the genreal depression about the choices not being offered to us among most of the people that I work with, I think it might be more informative to see what the suicide rate looks like from election day up to 7 days later.
  • Charly Charly on Oct 02, 2008

    My guess is that more miles are driven on election day that the day before and after. Especially by drivers who drive rarely. Also the voting booth is in area where many drivers rarely go to so it is uncommon for them.