Unusual driving rituals

Do you have a strange ritual before you start driving? We look at some of the more unusual ones – from people who scratch their own cars to others who always shout the same thing…

Some people will only drive in a particular pair of shoes whereas others have to wipe all the windows before they set off (even though they’re already clean)!

Some drivers believe that a new car is in greater danger than a used car of being involved in an accident or a collision. This is based on the belief that since the car is new and nothing has happened to it yet, the chance of something bad happening to the car is greater, compared to a used car, which already has its fair share of dents and scratches.

In the hope of preventing a damaging accident, they will place a small cut or scratch on the car in an area where it will not be seen. Apparently, the inside of the steering wheel well is one commonly scratched area!

Three Japanese car customs

Funeral car
If you are driving, or walking for that matter, and a funeral car passes you, according to one Japanese superstition, you should hide your thumb or risk bad luck!
Black cats
The superstition that black cats crossing the street in front of you can cause bad luck was imported from Japan. But some drivers in other countries will make an ‘x’ on the left side of the windscreen with their right hand if a black cat crosses their car’s path.
Night whistling
If you whistle in the night while driving, some Japanese people believe a snake will appear!
Car coining
In New Jersey and New York, people often practice ‘car coining’, where they toss a few coins onto the floor of a newly-purchased car, as a sign of good luck. This practice originated as a practical one, linked to toll roads. The New York area has many toll roads, and as a result, many drivers would carry change in their cars. The friends and family of the new car owner would throw coins onto the floor of the new car, so if the driver ever ran out of money, they could reach down and find some extra money on the floor!

Six more unusual superstitions

Do you do any of these?

  1. Hold your breath while driving past graveyards
  2. Hold your breath while driving across county boundaries
  3. Make a wish when you see a tractor or the end of a tunnel
  4. Raise your feet while crossing bridges, or railway tracks
  5. Touch the ceiling of your car when you drive through an amber traffic light
  6. Always park in the same place

From a safety point of view, we’d advise avoiding 4 and 5, if you’re the driver, but you can be as superstitious as you like if you’re a passenger!