Common driving superstitions and where they came from

September 13th, 2019 by

Happy Friday the 13th! In honor of the occasion, Toyota of Orlando is talking superstitions – specifically, driving superstitions. There are more out there than you’d think, and today we’re discussing some of the most common ones and where they originated from.

We’ve all heard of the typical superstitions – don’t walk under a ladder, don’t let a black cat cross your path, don’t break a mirror, avoid the number 13. But what about when it comes to your ride? Here are some of the most interesting superstitions we’ve heard from drivers.

driving superstitions

#1: Holding your breath when you pass a graveyard 

It’s a common driving superstition that whenever you pass a graveyard in your car, you should hold your breath. Why? Some people believe it’s to avoid making the ghosts jealous (you know, because you’re alive and can still breathe) while others do it to avoid breathing in any spirits.

#2: Touching the ceiling when you go through a yellow light 

Have you ever heard the superstition of touching the roof of your car when you pass through a yellow light? (By the way, we don’t recommend – keep your hands on the wheel.) Some people also kiss their fingers before touching the ceiling. Either way, it’s a silent way of saying thank you that you got through the light without being hit or pulled over.

#3: Picking your feet up when you cross a bridge or railroad 

Again, we don’t recommend – it’s not smart to take your feet off the pedals when you’re driving. But some drivers believe that you have to lift your feet off the floor of the car when you go over a bridge or railroad tracks. Apparently, it’s believed that if you don’t, you’ll never meet your true love or get married. Some people even believe that if you don’t, you’ll die young.

#4: Holding your breath in a tunnel 

Supposedly, it’s good luck to hold your breath while driving through a tunnel. If you can make it through the entire tunnel without breathing, then you can make a wish at the end and your wish will come true. (Not super smart, though – holding your breath can lead to passing out, which isn’t ideal behind the wheel of a car.)

#5: Putting change under the seat of a new car 

Some drivers throw some loose change under the seat of their new car for good luck (and it’s handy in case your E-Pass stops working, we guess).

Think those are weird? Check out some of the most common NASCAR driving superstitions. A lot of drivers refuse to drive green cars because they see the color green as an unlucky omen. A driver racing way back in 1920 was killed while driving a green car, and that’s where the superstition originated from. Additionally, many NASCAR drivers have an aversion to shelled peanuts, even going so far as to ban them from the pits and garages. Why? For some reason, there was a rash of accidents before the first World War where unshelled peanuts were found in the car.

What’s your #1 driving superstition? Leave a comment and let us know… and have a safe and happy Friday the 13th!