Friday 13 habits could save a fortune

Five ways to dramatically reduce accidents - lessons from Friday 13th

close-up of a Friday the 13th tarot card tacked on a board

Friday 13th strikes fear into the hearts of many, but a number of studies have revealed that perhaps we shouldn't be quite so scared. Apparently we are safer on Friday 13th than on any other typical day. And if we can learn the lessons that the day can teach us - we could be safer every day.

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A new study by Policy Expert has revealed that typically there are half the usual number of home insurance claims on Friday 13th. The cost of those claims is also lower. In 2015 there were three Friday 13ths. All three saw the average claim drop by at least 50% - while the one in March saw claims of £993 (down from a typical average for the month of £2,231).

The researchers highlighted that there's no reason why this should be the case - except that people are superstitious and simply take more care.

This reflects the findings of a Dutch study a few years ago, which discovered that there are fewer car insurance claims on Friday 13th too. It put this down to the fact that people try to avoid driving on an 'unlucky' day, which means fewer cars on the road, and fewer accidents.

What we can learn

What's enlightening about both these studies is we are less likely to have an accident on Friday 13th purely because we're actually making an effort. It's therefore worth considering the things we do on Friday 13th that we don't do on any other day - and how it might help keep us safe at other times.

Avoid driving
Clearly this isn't always sustainable, but the fewer times you use the car, the less likely you are to have an accident. It's therefore well worth considering how often you drive, and when there might be a suitable alternative.

Drive more carefully
Being on the road itself is a calculated risk, and every time we perform any manoeuvre, we are weighing up the risks in our minds. On Friday 13th we tend to err on the side of caution. So there's a good chance that developing more cautious driving habits throughout the year could help keep us safe.

Focus
It's not just on the road where a bit of care and attention dramatically decreases your chances of having an accident. When we allow ourselves to be distracted and have our attention diverted by the chaos of modern life it's easy not to think through the consequences of having a cup of tea, a laptop and an over-excited dog in the same vicinity. When we take the time to concentrate on what we're doing, we are far more likely to move the laptop out of reach of the dog, and take the tea into the kitchen.

Stay home - or make it look as though you did
One of the reasons attributed to the lower level of burglaries on Friday 13th is that a number of people will avoid leaving the house altogether, so burglars know there's more likely to be someone home. Clearly we cannot stay in every day, but we can set up our home to make it look inhabited. Putting timers on lights around the house will bring key lights on as it gets dark, so the house is not so obviously empty.

Consider calling an expert
Accidents around the house also tend to fall on Friday 13th, because we postpone climbing ladders, tinkering with the plumbing or operating power tools. While sensible DIY (for which you have the skills) can save a fortune on property maintenance, it's worth thinking twice whether you are up to the job. If you don't really know what you're doing, paying a professional could end up cheaper than making a disastrous DIY mistake.

But what do you think? Do you do anything differently on Friday 13th? Let us know in the comments.


Car brands with the highest accident rate

Car brands with the highest accident rate



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