If you forego your COVID vaccination, your chances of being in a car accident greatly increase.
Or at least these are the ones published this month in American Journal of Medicine. In the summer of 2021, Canadian researchers examined encrypted records held by the government of more than 11 million adults, 16 percent of whom had not been vaccinated against COVID.
They found that unvaccinated people They were 72 percent more likely to be involved in a serious traffic accident (where at least one person was taken to hospital) than those who were vaccinated. The researchers found that this was similar to the increased risk of car crashes among people with sleep apnea, although only about half that of alcoholics.
The risk of crashes posed by unvaccinated drivers “outweighs the safety gains from modern automotive engineering advances, while also posing risks to other road users,” the authors wrote.
Of course, skipping the COVID vaccine doesn’t mean someone will get into a car accident. Instead, the authors speculate, people who resist public health advice may also “ignore basic road safety norms.”
Why do they ignore the rules of the road? Mistrust of government, belief in freedom, misunderstanding of everyday risks, “belief in conservation,” “aversion to regulation,” poverty, misinformation, lack of resources, and personal beliefs are among the potential causes cited by the authors.
The authors suggest that these findings are so important that primary care physicians should consider counseling unvaccinated patients about traffic safety — insurers may change their policies based on vaccination data.
First responders may also consider taking precautions to protect themselves from COVID when responding to traffic accidents, since drivers are more likely to be unvaccinated than vaccinated, the authors added.
“The findings suggest that unvaccinated adults need to be careful when communicating indoors with other people and outdoors with their surroundings,” the authors concluded.
This isn’t the first time researchers have examined the link between behavior and vaccination status.Among young adults, a study published in 2021 Journal of Bioeconomics A correlation was found between self-reported dangerous driving and not being vaccinated against influenza. It examined survey responses from more than 100,000 Canadians.
This story originally appeared on Fortune.com
More from Fortune: Rishi Sunak’s Old Hedge Fund Boss Pays Himself $1.9 Million This Year Meets 29-Year-Old Teacher With 4 Degrees Wants To Join Great Resignation How Much Do You Need To Make To Buy A $400,000 House Elon Musk Wants To Check In Kanye Vee Kanye West thinks rapper’s swastika tweet ‘incites violence’