• One in eight Brits still believe Friday 13th to be the day of bad luck
  • Norwich residents are the biggest believers, followed by Brighton and London
  • The least superstitious live in Belfast, Liverpool and Cardiff
  • It only takes four mishaps to happen before a day is deemed a ‘bad day’
  • 25th December is the luckiest day of the year

Forget Friday 13th, it is Thursday 12th February that should have the nation in a jitter. Despite the association with bad luck, Brits are more likely to have an accident on Thursday 12th February than any other day in the year, according to Direct Line*.

The long‐standing superstition, which stems from two separate bad luck associations: with the number 13 and the last day of the working week, is still rife in 2015, as nearly one in eight (13 per cent) Brits believe the date to be unlucky. From this number of ‘superstitious minds’, nearly a third (29 per cent) say it is because they genuinely feel unlucky on that day. However, one in seven (15 per cent) admit that nothing bad has ever actually happened to them on Friday 13th.

New research out today, from Direct Line, reveals the two fifths (43 per cent) of Brits who do not believe Friday 13th to be unlucky think Friday 13th is just a normal day, may be correct after all. The amount of accidents on Friday 13th is actually less than the daily average, Direct Line reports, and nearly twice as many mishaps occur the day prior; showing that Brits should take extra care on Thursday 12th February.

At the opposite end of the scale, Direct Line found that 25th December is the luckiest day of the year. In addition to all the wonderful presents and spending time with loved ones, Brits are less likely to have an accident on that day.

The research also shows it is the ‘everyday emergencies’ that make a good day turn sour. Whilst nearly three quarters (71 per cent) feel confident their day will run to plan, it takes four small mishaps before they consider themselves to be having a ‘bad day’ and so may be forced to question their luck. The most common annoyances selected, which therefore could cause a disproportionate amount of stress, are:

  • Suffering technical glitches with computer (22 per cent)
  • Being stuck in traffic (20 per cent)
  • Spilling something on themselves (18 per cent)
  • Running out of phone battery (17 per cent)
  • Finding food in teeth (14 per cent)

Source: Direct Line

In an analysis of the UK’s most superstitious cities, Norwich came out top, with nearly one in five (19 per cent) believing in Friday 13th. Brighton (18 per cent) and London (16 per cent) were the next biggest believers. The most cynical in the UK live in Belfast (4 per cent), Liverpool (9 per cent) and Cardiff (10 per cent).

Rob Miles, director of Direct Line car insurance, says: “From refusing to get on a plane, to not making any big decisions; the ancient superstition of Friday 13th makes people tread carefully for the 24 hour period. In fact, we are spending so much focus on ensuring nothing bad happens, we are neglecting to take care the day before, which we discovered to in fact be, the unluckiest day of the year. Friday 13th on the other hand, actually has less accidents than the average day – which really turns this age‐old myth on its head.

“At Direct Line we are committed to helping our customers get back to where they were and fixing any accidental mishaps, whether it is on Friday 13th or any other day of the year. We appreciate that life’s annoyances can get in the way, something we want to get our customers through as quickly and as comfortably as possible.”

Notes to editors

* Unluckiest and luckiest days of the year based on Direct Line accident claims data from 01 January 2014 – 31 December 2014.

** Opinium Research conducted an online survey from the 3rd to 5th February 2015, amongst 2,005 UK adults aged 18+. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. www.opinium.co.uk.

For further information please contact:

Vishal Rana, Unity: 020 7440 9810 or Vishal@hellounity.com
Robyn Swan, Unity: 020 7440 9819 or Robyn@hellounity.com

About Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on‐line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 878 5587 or visiting www.directline.com.

Claire Foster
PR Manager
Direct Line Group
Tel: 0165 183 1672
Mob: 07900 217 264
Website: http://www.directlinegroup.com