If you have paraskevidekatriaphobia, today is not your day. That’s right, paraskevidekatriaphobia is fear of Friday the 13th and the accidents, mishaps and misfortunes thought by some to occur on that day. But is there anything really to fear?
In fact, a study was conducted and published back in 1993 in the British Medical Journal that looked at hospital admissions due to accidents on one Friday the 13th compared with the previous Friday the 6th. The researchers tracked traffic on a highway in one area and found that many fewer cars were on the road on the 13th. Perhaps due to people being leery of driving on that day.
But hospital admissions in that area due to traffic accidents was actually higher. Forty-five people were admitted on the 6th but 65 people were admitted on the 13th. [TJ Scanlon et al., "Is Friday the 13th bad for your health?"]
The researchers concluded that a few people were indeed unlucky. On that Friday the 13th. In that part of England. Then again, what you really needed for this study was a control group that stays home, only to slip in the bathtub.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]
[Originally published on October 13, 2006.]