While traveling, the destination is obviously of utmost importance but one can’t downplay the safety aspect. A recent study has predicted that under a full moon the risk of having a fatal accident is higher. Writing in the British Medical Journal, Dr. Donald Redelmeier along with Eldar Shafir from Princeton University says that there could be various possibilities, including the full moon which could distract riders, or make it harder to control speed leading to fatal motorbike crashes.
The average ride for a motorcyclist “is more dangerous than for a drunk driver with no seatbelt who travels the same distance, the risk is one of those things that people just can’t sense until it is too late, that’s why we need science about this,” said Dr. Donald Redelmeier who is involved in this research from the University of Toronto.While the reason for the connection is still not clear, the study says that bikers are more prone to accidents because they may get distracted by the full moon which is large, bright and can suddenly pop into the field of view.
Before coming to this conclusion researchers have explored 40 years of data on motorcycle deaths across the US to find out whether there was a link between the accidents and full moons or not. They studied the number of accidents at night exactly one week before and one week after each full moon as well as when a half moon was present. The research says that 9.1 crashes took place on nights with a full moon, in comparison to just 8.6 plus accidents when the moon was not full. This means there was a 5% greater risk of accidents on the night of full moon.
One of the explanations for such results could be that lighting effects produced by the moon may cause riders to misjudge their speed resulting in crashes. It is to be noted that the research did not examine deaths on new moon nights.