[The following is an exact transcript of this podcast.]
This presidential election will likely have a huge effect on health care. But it also will probably have a direct effect on public health. Because there’s a higher risk of injury and death from traffic accidents on presidential election days. Thanks to more people driving, many of whom probably shouldn’t be behind the wheel, and going to possibly unfamiliar destinations. That’s according to a study in the October 1st issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Researchers looked at all presidential elections starting in 1976 and compared them with the Tuesdays before and after election day. On average there were 24 additional car crash deaths and 800 extra, serious injuries nationwide on election days. The extra risk topped that seen on Super Bowl Sunday or even New Year’s Eve. The risk to the individual also exceeded the potential of your one vote being pivotal. So it may actually make risk-benefit sense not to vote. Or at least to be extra careful when traveling on election day.