Friday 13th Unlucky After All?

December 13, 2002 ( - Women are 63% more likely die in traffic accidents on a Friday the 13th than other Fridays during a month, according to new research.

Finnish researcher Dr Simo Nayha of the University of Oulu in Finland believes this is the case, after conducting an analysis of traffic fatalities in Finland; revealing women are more likely to die from traffic accidents on a Friday the 13 th than any other Friday, according to a Reuters report.

Oddly the same pattern was not detected in men; who are no more likely to die on a Friday the 13 th than any other Friday in the month.

However, Dr. Stuart Vyse of Connecticut College in New London does not believe the traffic deaths have anything to do with Friday the 13 th being unlucky, but more in the belief that it is unlucky.

He says the increase in traffic deaths among women on the supposed bad-luck day “is a clear negative effect of having been taught these kinds of superstitions,” Vyse said. “And here, it looks like it can kill you, if this is true.”

To support his claim, Vyse points to previous studies that show women are more superstitious than men.   Vyse said this superstition of Friday the 13 th being unlucky could lead to a higher level of anxiety and thus, more chance of distractions while driving.

When argued that Friday the 13 th may just be unlucky, Vyse said he would expect to see the same traffic death increase in men, which the research does not support.

But Nayha said while the increased anxiety hypothesis proposed by Vyse may be true, the study did not measure if people felt more anxious on a Friday the 13 th and with that, he does not believe the study proves the increase in women traffic fatalities is directly related to perception of Friday the 13 th being unlucky.