Dutch statisticians have established that Friday 13th, a date regarded in many countries as inauspicious, is actually safer than an average Friday.
A study published on Thursday by the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) showed that fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays.
"I find it hard to believe that it is because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home, but statistically speaking, driving is a little bit safer on Friday 13th," CVS statistician Alex Hoen told the Verzekerd insurance magazine.
In the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday, the CVS study said. But the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500.
There were also fewer incidents of fire and theft, although the average value of losses on Fridays 13th was slightly higher.
Friday the 13th phobia is rooted in western culture. Some people are so paralyzed with fear they simply don’t get out of bed. Others steadfastly refuse to fly on an airplane, buy a house, or act on a hot stock tip.