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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (5)
  1. andrew says:

    yes it is i lost my aunt and cuz in a car accident on firday 13 and was a full moon. i hate this day forever

    1. oscar says:

      everyday is a friday the 13th for there is always a fatality anywhere in the world. incidents like this always happen anywhere wherever you are. there is no evidence that a lot of fatalities happen on a friday on the 13th of the month. the eruption of a volcano, a tsunami somewhere, an earthquake somewhere or man made accidents do not necessarily happen on a friday the thirteenth. there is no scientific data or record to show that most fatalities happen on this day. it just happens that a connection from an incident way back when was connected to a friday on the 13th of the month – and as agreed by the majority of folks at that time that it be so; hence, we consciously had it stuck in our minds up to this day…

  2. Richard says:

    You mean there are two numbers of completion? I’ve been told that 7 is the number of completion (completes a week) and that 8 represents a new beginning.

  3. bdj says:

    There is no difference between Friday the 13th, or Saturday the 19th, or Wednesday the 13th. It’s all superstition and numerology. You can believe in black cats or breaking mirrors, or walking under ladders, but its all the same. There is real danger with breaking a mirror, it’s the broken glass. And walking under a ladder is dangerous because something might fall from the ladder and hit you. Maybe you should break a mirror on Friday the 13th while walking under a ladder when a black cat crosses your path if you really want to tempt fate.

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