Election Day Safety

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Is Voting for President Bad For You? (National Safety Commission)

Today is Election Day. We get to exercise our civic duty and vote for candidates for various national, state and local offices as well as other issues. However, please be extra cautious going to and from your polling place.

A new study of Election Day traffic deaths dating back to Jimmy Carter's 1976 win suggests that voting for the president is bad for your health—but the analysts say that's no reason not to go to the polls.

The analysts discovered that on average, 24 more people died in car crashes during voting hours on presidential election days than on all other Tuesdays in October and November. That's an 18 percent increased risk of death. And an additional 800 people suffered disabling injuries when compared with non-election days.

Up to 2004, when George W. Bush defeated John Kerry, results were similar on all eight presidential Election Days that were analyzed.

Among the possible reasons cited were rushing to get to polling places before or after work, driving on unfamiliar routes, and thinking about the candidates to the point of distraction.

This study is not a reason to abstain from voting today . . . but please be extra careful as you travel to and from your polling place.

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