Females do not have more injury road accidents on Friday
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Females do not have more injury road accidents on Friday the 13th Igor Radun and Heikki Summala BMC Public Health 2004, 4:54 Gayatri Govitrikar MSc- 1 Roll no: 9812 The fear of Friday the 13th (Paraskevidekatriaphobia) Like many human beliefs, the fear of Friday the 13th isn’t grounded in scientific logic. Origins of this widespread superstition This Fear stems from two separate fears Fear of Friday Fear of number 13th Jesus was crucified on a Friday Judas (apostle who betrayed Jesus) was the 13th member to arrive at the Last Supper Adam & Eve ate from the forbidden fruit on a Friday Day named after Frigg or Freya Frigg would join a coven (Goddesses connected to marriage of witches (normally a and fertility) and these strong female group of 12)to make a figures posed a threat to male dominated total of 13,hence was Christianity, hence the church vilified associated with evil the day named after them. doings Hence, Unlucky Friday + Unlucky 13 = Unluckier Friday. Background One widely spread superstition is that Friday the 13th brings bad luck. In a recent nationwide study by Näyhä on the 1971–97 death statistics in Finland he concluded that Friday the 13th might be a dangerous day for some women, presumably because of anxiety from superstition and, possibly, anxiolytic medications resulting in increase in traffic deaths amongst females. This interpretation has the following problems- 1) Author repeatedly refers to driving, wherein he also includes water and air traffic accidents. WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM? 2) Author’s data includes passengers killed in accidents, who typically have no control on the task. 3) Weather conditions do not include southern coast where the population and traffic are heavily concentrated and vicinity of the sea increases variation in weather and road conditions. WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM? 4) Author had a sample of Fridays the 13th by excluding only Good Fridays. However there are plenty of holidays among all other Fridays with quite different travel patterns and life style. e.g. Midsummer Eve always falls on Friday in the second part of June, which gives 27 such days in study period 1971–1997 during which time there is a marked peak in alcohol consumption in Finland 5) In spite of the long study period, the data only included 41 female deaths on 43 Fridays the 13th, which means 16 deaths more than expected from all other Fridays during the study period. WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM? WHAT IS YOUR BASIS FOR SAYING 16 MORE DEATHS? KINDLY EXPLAIN IN DETAIL POINT NO.5. Due to the shortcomings listed above, and fairly small sample size, the results deserve reinvestigation to avoid premature conclusions and improper interpretations which tend to promote sexist attitudes about women drivers. The case was reinvestigated using the national Finnish road accident database of injury accidents for 1989–2002. Materials and Methods A matched design was selected which makes it possible to control seasonal effects and to avoid the problems due to holidays. Active participants included drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians who actively controlled their motion in traffic and may get involved in crashes. Nine holidays or otherwise unusual control Fridays were replaced by the mean values of the accident variables. 24 Fridays the 13th during the study period three of them were excluded because two were Good Fridays and one followed a Thursday holiday 21 Fridays the 13th HAVE CHANGED THE ALGNMENT HERE..THE 21 FRIDAYS IN CENTER SEEMS A BIT ODD. YOU TAKE THE CALL HOW YOU WANT IT.ALSO, THIS NEXT LINE OF COMPARED WITH PREVIOUS…. SEEMS INCOMPLETE… HOW ABOUT “THE DATA FOR THESE TWENTY ONE FRIDAYS WAS THEN COMPARED WITH…” Compared with the previous Fridays the 6th and the following Fridays the 20th Results Table 2?: The number of active participants* by gender on Fridays the 13th, the previous (the 6th) and following (the 20th) Fridays. Friday Total Female Total Male 6th 299.5 713.5 13th 317 824 20th 299 748.5 * Active participants included drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians who actively control their motion in traffic and may get involved in crashes. WHERE IS TABLE ONE? Table 3?: The number of victims* by gender on Fridays the 13th, the previous (the 6th) and following (the 20th) Fridays. Friday Dead Injured Dead Male Injured Male Female Female 6th 6 (9)* 196 (290.5) 27.5 (33.5) 308.5 (372) 13th 15 (21) 214 (304) 214 (304) 340 (430) 20th 11 (13) 195.5 (296) 22.5 (25) 329.5 (418.5) *Numbers for victims refer to active participants while those in parenthesis also include passengers. Figure 1?:agad The average daily number of active participants involved in injury road crashes by gender on the Fridays 13th and the preceding and following Fridays for 1989–2002. Discussion This study could not find any indication of overrepresentation of women in injury crashes on Friday the 13th and is inconsistent with Näyhä’s results and conclusions The data only implies that, in comparison to men, women are not over represented in injury road accidents on Fridays 13th in Finland for 1989–2002 This does not and cannot conclude anything about women's performance in traffic on Fridays 13th, or about their accident risk (given certain exposure to risk), or about the effect of superstition on those risks People themselves adjust their exposure to risk at several levels, while making trip decisions, choosing transport mode, or selecting routes to the destination Conclusion This study suggests that Näyhä's contradicting result on fatalities is due to different sampling, non-optimal setting and chance in a fairly small data. It does not imply a nonexistent effect on accident risk, as no exposure-to-risk data are available This paper concludes that, in the Finnish traffic accident statistics for 1989–2002, females have not incurred more injury (or fatal) road traffic accidents on Fridays the 13th than expected, as a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian.