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Is Driving More Dangerous On Friday The 13th?

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(credit: istockphoto.com)

(credit: istockphoto.com)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Is Friday the 13th really that unlucky? The Automobile Club of Southern California says it’s no more dangerous on the road.

There were 2.1 percent fewer traffic deaths in California on the 13 Friday the 13ths from 2002 to 2009 than comparable Fridays, according to Steven Bloch, a senior research associate with the Automobile Club of Southern California.

There were 141 people killed on the 13 Friday the 13ths studied and an average of 144 on Friday the sixths and Friday the 20ths, said Bloch, who has a doctoral degree in sociology.

No matter what day it is, Bloch says drivers should “put cell phones down and drive safely,” Bloch said.

Friday is the lone Friday the 13th of 2011. The next one will be in January 2012, the first of three for the year. Every year has at least one Friday the 13th. No year can have more than three.

There are several theories about the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition.

One is that it combines Friday, which is associated with bad luck because it was the day Jesus was crucified, and 13, an unlucky number because it is considered irregular. Twelve is considered the number of completeness because of the 12 months of the year, the 12 hours of the clock, 12 tribes of Israel and 12 Apostles of Jesus.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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