5 common driving superstitions and their origins

September 13th, 2019 by

Happy Friday the 13th!!

In honor of the day, our N Charlotte Toyota dealership is explaining some of the most common driving superstitions that we hear from our customers. Whether good luck or bad, they exist… and we’re here to explain what they are and where they come from! Read on.

driving superstitions

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

Some drivers believe that you should always touch the ceiling while driving through a yellow light (we do not recommend, just to note – you should keep both hands on the wheel at all times). In fact, some drivers will even kiss their fingers before touching the ceiling. Why? Some believe that it’s a silent way of saying thank you that you made it through said yellow light without being hit by another car or pulled over.

#2: Picking your feet up from the floor when you go over a railroad track or bridge 

Another driving superstition states that you should pick your feet up from the floor and pedals when you’re going over a bridge or over a railroad track. (If you believe this, you may want to leave it to your passengers – it’s not smart to take your feet off the pedals while driving.) Supposedly if you don’t, you’ll never meet your true love or get married. Some drivers even believe that you’ll die young if you don’t observe this driving superstition.

#3: Holding your breath as you pass a graveyard 

Some drivers believe in the superstition that you should hold your breath when you pass a graveyard. They believe that a) the ghosts are jealous (because you’re alive and breathing and they aren’t) or that b) if you breathe while driving past, you’ll somehow breathe in a spirit and become possessed.

#4: Throwing loose change under the seat of a new car 

This one is actually a semi-useful driving superstition – throwing loose change under the seat of a new car for good luck. No one really knows why people do it, but it’s great if you need money for tolls and your wallet is light.

#5: Holding your breath as you drive through a tunnel 

Just like passing a graveyard, some drivers hold the superstition that you should hold your breath as you drive through a tunnel. Supposedly, if you can make it the lenght of the tunnel without breathing, you can make a wish at the end and said wish will come true. (We don’t recommend trying it.)

Did you know that even NASCAR drivers profess driving superstitions? A lot of them refuse to drive green cars on the basis that they believe the color green is an omen of bad luck (stemming from the death of a race car driver in the 1920’s who was behind the wheel of a green car). Additionally, many of them ban unshelled peanuts from their garages and pits because they see them as unlucky. Why? Apparently before the first World War, a rash of car accidents happened and peanut shells were found in the vehicles.

What’s your driving superstition? Leave it in the comments… and have a happy Friday the 13th!

Posted in Toyota Tips