I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s,
and his hair was perfect.
The British Medical Journal published an interesting article last month titled “The Full Moon and Motorcycle Related Mortality: Population Based Double Control Study.” Apparently, if you ride your motorcycle during a full moon, odds increase that you may be involved in a fatal accident.
So what causes more accidents and fatalities when the full moon dances across the midnight sky?
Statistics were gathered from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Statistics from the forementioned countries resulted in similar results. Researching a time span of forty years, deadly accidents increased by five percent on nights with a full moon and over over thirty-two percent if a super-moon was present.
Full moons occur approximately once per month, meaning that the research provided 494 full moons during the forty year stretch. On those nights, there were a total 4,494 fatal accidents with fatal accidents occurring at a rate of 9.10 per night versus 8.64 on nights when a full moon was not present.
During this time, there were also sixty-five super-moons which resulted in 703 fatal crashes/10.82 per night versus 8.84 during a regular moon phase.
So Now What?
Besides werewolves and the freaks coming out at night when the moon is full, we now have to worry about riding our motorcycles as well? Don’t take away from me the luminous glow of a full moon lighting up the desolate road that travels before me!
Do I need need to worry? Not really.
The study itself confirms what I always say and has been backed up statistically- the majority of accidents are caused by rider error.
“our key recommendation is that extra care is needed when riding a motorcycle under a full moon.”
“research serves as a safety reminder to the millions of people who ride a motorcycle, and the millions of others who do not, that small gaps in attention can lead to irreparable consequences.”
Feet Per Second
A fact that I have mentioned on an endless amount of blogs on safety is that you travel at almost 1.5 times your speed at feet per second. Thus, say you are traveling at 30 mph. Add 30 + 15 (half of thirty) and you are traveling at 45 feet per second. It may not seem like much, but after three seconds, you have traveled 135 feet, and not paying attention after 135 feet might as well be a mile.
Thus, the answer lies in learning to ride at your best ability, and that means the basics. For example, if you ain’t scraping the floorboards, you ain’t riding. At the minimum, you should be able to make a U-turn without your feet touching the ground (24 foot circle) and aim for 18 feet which is the distance the motors squad at police departments use.
And more importantly, pay attention. The same way you don’t want your doctor performing surgery on you and not pay attention to what he is doing for three seconds, is the same approach you should take towards riding.