Number 13 stirs superstitious silliness among Irish car dealers

Drop ’13′ from next year’s numberplates to save car industry, urges Healy-Rae –

An independent TD has urged the government to consider amending Ireland’s car registration plate system for next year – because some superstitious motorists do not want cars with ’13′ on the plates.

Michael Healy-Rae has called on finance minister Michael Noonan to examine the possibility of changing the registration plate system for next year, saying the move would benefit the motoring industry as a whole.

Healy-Rae said car deals had already approached him to raise their concerns, which in turn had been fuelled by remarks from prospective car buyers who felt it might be bad luck to drive cars with the number 13 on them.

Tip: Blue_wode on Twitter

“People like you are after going to the garages and saying they’ll wait until the next year” before replacing their cars, he added, simply because they did not want to drive cars carrying a number which is often thought to be unlucky.

I’m skeptical of this claim. Are there REALLY that many people who still hold to a silly superstition about ‘13’ and are worried about it? If you need a car you need a car. How many plates already have ‘13’ somewhere on them? Is there an increase in accidents for these cars? I bet there is not, because there is no mechanism.

The comments to this article suggest that at least some large segment of the population thinks this is really silly. Some joking suggest that other superstitious activities can counteract the ‘13’ or that maybe we skip 2013 altogehter if we are all supposedly so nervous about it.

Here is a nice supplement to the piece from The Science Bit.