Even today, some people believe that certain omens bring bad luck. They may dread the sight of a single magpie, feel worried when a black cat crosses their path, avoid walking under ladders, or refrain from opening umbrellas indoors.
Although these signs might be considered irrational, the findings of one British study suggest that superstitious people might have a point – it seems individuals could be more likely to suffer personal injury on Friday the 13th than on other days.
Researchers from the Mid Downs Health Authority in West Sussex analysed traffic volumes between Junctions 7 to 10 of the M25 over a two year period and noticed that the number of vehicles decreased whenever a Friday the 13th occurred. Consequently, it has been claimed that no less than 1.4% of Britons may refrain from travelling on motorways whenever this ‘unlucky’ date falls.
Although it seems fewer drivers use their vehicles on a Friday the 13th, the researchers came to some surprising conclusions when they looked at hospital admissions. When analysing the number of traffic accidents in the South West Thames area, the findings showed that this figure increased by approximately 52% whenever a Friday the 13th occurred.
The study could have its flaws, namely being “too small to allow meaningful analysis”, but it certainly suggests that Friday the 13th could actually be unlucky for some motorists.
However, instead of some cosmic force deciding when someone suffers personal injury, the increase in the number of traffic accidents could actually be attributed to something more physical – human error.
Logically, if someone believes they are more likely to experience harm on Friday the 13th than on other days, he or she could become worried, anxious, and might not pay full attention to their surroundings. Consequently, their superstitions could become self-fulfilling, potentially resulting in an accident.
British personal injury solicitors usually do not believe in ‘bad luck’. Instead, in many situations, they realise an individual’s negligence was to blame for the incident – and if someone was adversely affected during an accident which was not their fault, a specialist lawyer could potentially help them claim compensation.