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 Pre-ride inspection? Check. Full gear? Check. Phase of moon? Huh?
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Advanced Member
576 Posts

Central Coast, CA



Posted - 12/12/2017 :  12:50 PM                       Like
Just when you think you're getting a handle on motorcycle safety, the dang experts come up with something new to worry about...

Motorcycle deaths linked to full moons

Research published Dec. 11 in The BMJ points toward another potential distraction for motorists: the full moon, gracing the sky with its brightness around 12 times a year, and the dazzling supermoon, which comes into focus around once a year.

The researchers found that on nights illuminated by a full moon, fatal motorcycle accidents increased by 5 percent compared to nights without a full moon. On evenings when the supermoon decorated the sky, this increased to 32 percent. The study included data from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

While this observational data cannot prove any firm conclusions, the researchers warn drivers of the risks of seemingly minor distractions, urging constant attention while driving at all times.

"Drivers face a number of distractions behind the wheel--from texting, to phone calls to road obstructions and more," said study co-author Eldar Shafir, the Class of 1987 Professor in Behavioral Science and Public Policy and professor of psychology and public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. "Our study adds to the literature that small distractions can sometimes lead to life-altering consequences."

"Glancing at the full moon takes the motorcyclist's gaze off the road, which could result in a loss of control," said the study's lead author Redelmeier, professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. "The average ride on a motorcycle is more dangerous than a drunk driver with no seatbelt traveling the same distance. Because of this, we recommend riders and drivers orient their attention, ignore distractions and continuously monitor their dynamic surroundings."

I will refrain from discussion about the current problem of non-reproducibility of results in the field of social psychology. But I will point out that 5% is probably below the threshold of significant difference in the data, and that without a measure of exposure--might motorcyclists be more inclined to ride under a full moon?--risk cannot be estimated.

For info, the above is a press release from Princeton University, where the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is located. That's the Ivy League, which produces so many of the "experts" who want to tell us how to live our lives.

Male Advanced Member
728 Posts

Ottawa, Ontario


09 Wee

Posted - 12/13/2017 :  1:36 PM
I found your reaction to the study, more interesting than the study itself.

I'd also like to hear who funded the study and why.

Have you done any math on the results?

Here's an article on the lead author. Funny enough, he rides a bicycle to work in Toronto. I did that for a while, until it got way too dangerous.


Edited by - Baggsy on 12/13/2017 1:48 PM
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Advanced Member
1715 Posts

Stratford, CT



Posted - 12/13/2017 :  5:30 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Seems to me that a full moon night would be more enticing to stay out longer than usual on a motorcycle because of the added illumination. Maybe even more so for those that have night time sight issues or otherwise less than comfortable riding at night, say in deer country etc.
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