Does the Full Moon Cause Motorcycle Crashes?

There are a lot of old folktales out there about the full moon: evil spirits come out, animals become wilder, people rush to hospitals, etc. It’s enough to make the superstitious hide away when ever the moon waxes full, but some science-minded folk may actually agree. A study in The BMJ may change your mind about taking a ride by the light of the full moon.

Should You Ride During a Full Moon?

Riding at night is already a risky venture. Statistics say that you are more likely to be involved in a crash after the sun goes down, but what you may not have expected was for those statistics to increase when the moon rises. But that’s what Princeton researcher Eldar Shafir and University of Toronto researcher Donald Redelmeier found while examining motorcycle crash data from 1975 to 2014.

These researchers studied 13,029 fatal motorcycle crashes over 1,482 nights and determined that every time the full moon was out, more motorcyclists had fatal crashes. For every night with a full moon (494 nights) 9.10 riders died on average, whereas only 8.64 riders died on average on nights without a full moon. Even more surprising, on nights with a super moon, the number of riders who died per night on average was 10.82.

So, does this mean you should avoid riding on nights when the full moon is out? Probably not. The study was only observational and unable to determine the cause for the spike in crashes on nights of the full moon. Researchers speculate it could be due to the distraction a full moon causes riders, but it could also be explained by increased animal activity or weather patterns.

The point is, you should take precautions during times of increased accident possibilities. This could help keep you from winding up in the hospital, and ensure you get to enjoy motorcycling for years to come.

From the motorcycling attorneys at Metier Law Firm—dedicated to giving you strength when times are tough.

Tom Metier

Tom Metier

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