Should you lock yourself in your house until the bad luck passes? This study says yes:
Is Friday the 13th bad for your health?
OBJECTIVE–To examine the relation between health, behaviour, and superstition surrounding Friday 13th in the United Kingdom. DESIGN–Retrospective study of paired data comparing driving and shopping patterns and accidents. SUBJECTS–Drivers, shoppers, and residents. SETTING–South West Thames region. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES–Numbers of vehicles on motorways; numbers of shoppers in supermarkets; and hospital admissions due to accidents. RESULTS–There were consistently and significantly fewer vehicles on the southern section of the M25 on Friday the 13th compared with Friday the 6th. The numbers of shoppers were not significantly different on the two days. Admissions due to transport accidents were significantly increased on Friday 13th (total 65 v 45; p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS–Friday 13th is unlucky for some. The risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52%. Staying at home is recommended.
The study compared hospital admissions due to traffic accidents on Friday the 13ths to Friday the 6ths, and found that there were more on the 13ths!
Very interesting. Maybe there’s something to this Friday the 13th thing, or maybe this study is flawed. One thing that stands out to me in this study is that there are fewer vehicles on the road on Friday the 13ths, perhaps superstitious people stay home? This may lead to faster-moving traffic, which could lead to more (or more serious) traffic accidents.
What do you think?