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Is Driving On Friday 13th More Dangerous Than Usual?

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Thursday, 05 September 2019 GMT

Author: Peter Cresswell


If you’re a superstitious person then you’ll know the significance of Friday the 13th. It’s a day many people fear as they associate it with things going wrong and bad news. It’s the date in the calendar some people dread, but is there any increased risk to driving on this notorious day? As specialist providers of HGV insurance, Van Insurance and cover for couriers, we have decided to look into whether there is any reason to fear the infamous day that is Friday the 13th.

Why Do Superstitions Exist?

There is no single answer to what the definition of superstition is, but it is generally a belief in a force of supernatural nature, like fate. People who fear the number 13 are known as triskaidekaphobic’s and It seems to stem from the desire to resolve uncertainty. However, superstitions usually go against current scientific evidence and knowledge.

Even though superstitions are strange and seem to link to otherwise unrelated events, they still play a big factor in how some people live their lives, for example, people may avoid walking under ladders or staying on the 13th floor of a hotel. The superstition associated with the number 13 is one of the most widely noted and it even extends to airlines excluding row 13 from planes. Airlines who do this are Ryanair, Air France and Iberia.

Superstitions help people to bring a sense of control to their otherwise chaotic and unpredictable lives, by giving them a sense of power over their fear of the unknown.

Why Is The Number 13 So Unlucky?

The number 13 is considered unlucky because it was the date of the last supper for Jesus with his 12 Disciples and the 13th guest was the infamous Judas. Hence why people don’t want to be the 13th guest and it’s considered back luck to have 13 guests. This association and fear with impending doom has only been heightened by film franchises such as Friday the 13th.

Is There Any Proof Friday 13th Is Unlucky?

The fear of the number 13 is real, but is there any data to back this up? According to Igor Radun of the Human Factors and Safety Behaviour Group the answer is no. However, according to a research study published by the British Medical Journal, admissions to hospital due to transport incidents significantly increased on Friday the 13th. The study stated that the risk of ending up in hospital due to a road accident on Friday the 13th may increase by as much as 52%!

Are Any Other Numbers Considered Unlucky?

Surprisingly, the number 13 isn’t the only number which is considered unlucky, in fact, in some countries the number 17 is feared just as much, if not more than the number 13. For example, in Italy, the number 17 is unlucky and the date they fear is Friday the 17th.

Who Is More At Risk On Friday 13th?


People who are more at risk would be those who spend a lot of time on the road, for example, couriers, HGV drivers and taxi drivers. The more time you spend behind the wheel out on the open road, the more your chances of being involved in an incident increase.

Are There Ways To Reduce Chances Of An Accident?

There are no sure-fire ways to prevent accidents happening but there are things drivers can do to minimise their risks.

  • Avoid accident black spots
  • Carry out vehicle check before setting off
  • Stay hydrated
  • Follow speed limits
  • Ensure you get enough sleep

If you’re a HGV driver, you can use this guide to performing your daily HGV walkaround checks.

Are There Any Other Strange Superstitions?

Magpies are one of the most famous superstitions and everybody seems to have a story related to when they saw a certain number of magpies in relation to the old rhyme:

One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret never to be told.

But why does the magpie get such a bad rap?
Well, it’s said that the magpie was the only bird not to go into the ark with Noah, and it was also the only bird not to sing and comfort Jesus on the cross. Other reasons are that it’s notorious for stealing shiny objects and has been the cause for many a lost piece of jewellery.

In order to combat this superstition and gain a sense of control over it, many people salute, wave or even blink! This is to show respect to the magpie in order to avoid bad luck.

But doing these things could cause you to become distracted whilst driving and result in a crash if you’re not careful.

Do you have any strange superstitions or routines you carry out before driving? If so, let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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