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Auto Accidents Rise 14% During Full Moon, U.K. Insurer Says: Bloomberg.com

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  1. Aug 13, 2003 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    "Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Car accidents occur 14 percent more often on average during a full moon than a new moon, according to a study of 3 million car policies by the U.K.'s Churchill Insurance Group Plc."

    http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000102&sid=aFPQNod4LRn4&refer=uk

    The data appears to be legit. I am not posting this for the interpretation offered.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2003 #2

    russ_watters

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    Shall I suggest a more mundane cause?

    When the moon is full, people look at it.
     
  4. Aug 14, 2003 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    This is what I was thinking!

    I must say though that nearly any medical worker or law enforcement person will tell you that they get the weirdo's during full moons. To my knowledge, no study has ever been able to support this claim.
     
  5. Aug 14, 2003 #4
    Lunacy

    I read about a study on this once. This is all second hand so take it as you will.

    Anyways the study showed that there seemed to be an increase in auto accidents during full moons. It turned out however on later examination that while the study was under way there was an unsually high number of full moons that happened to fall on weekends. Of course it doesn't take very much to figure out that of course auto accidents are higher on weekends than weekdays. What with the partying and the staying up late and all.
     
  6. Aug 18, 2003 #5

    Phobos

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    A summary of studies on this...
    http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_337.html

    The last paragraph says it all!
    "So how do we explain all those cops and emergency room nurses who believe in the lunar effect? Easy. Nobody notices when there's a full moon and nothing happens--you only notice when something does happen. In other words, heads I win, tails don't count. Case closed."
     
  7. Aug 18, 2003 #6

    Phobos

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    I remember driving home recently and a full moon was rising up over the horizon (looking big and orange). It was situated such that it appeared to be lined up with the road. I saw a couple people swerve when they first saw it. Look out! It's only a quarter million miles away! :smile: It was very cool looking...I probably swerved too.
     
  8. Aug 19, 2003 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Even though I personally agree with the conclusion...I think statements like this bother me when they come from a website with such a biased name as straightdope - suspect in its own right. This implies that the author's opinion is the only opinon.

    Maybe, or this may be one scientist's opinion against another’s.

    However the moon exerts a great amount of force on the planet. One might cite a popular explanation for UFOs : seismic waves causing mental aberrations or unusual behavior. Could tidal forces and earth [land] tides create the same seismic conditions that can cause these unusual mental processes?

    What is the basis for the statistics? My wife [almost 30 years in medicine] says that all of the weirdo’s come out during full moons. How does one gauge a statement like this? She never claimed that they were all admitted to a mental institution. I have seen nothing that addresses many claims made.

    Also, what are the differences between moonlight and sunlight? How does exposure to filtered light affect the brain? SAD?

    Also, if women’s periods can run along lunar cycles, perhaps mental variations can also take place as a function of this cycle.

    Just some other options to consider…since we were ruling out all possibilities. :wink:
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2003
  9. Aug 19, 2003 #8
    Is there really a person with the
    last name "Rotten"?
     
  10. Aug 19, 2003 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    Rotton
     
  11. Aug 19, 2003 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    On second thought, after nearly twenty years of marriage, I can say that this statement is a foregone conclusion.
     
  12. Aug 19, 2003 #11
    Ah. Yes, I see. My mistake. It's
    a relief. Because if his name were
    Rotten people would be making fun
    of it all the time. But since it's
    actually Rotton, I'm certain he's
    never had that problem.

    -Zooby
     
  13. Aug 19, 2003 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    I am quite sure it's Germanic; though I can't remember the root word..."red" I think?

    I knew a guy from China whose parents admired President Harry Truman. When they immigrated to the US, the Dongs proudly name their son Harry.

    No kidding!
     
  14. Aug 19, 2003 #13
    Hmmmmm.....German/English diction-
    ary says Rot means Red, and Ton
    means Clay. Mr. Rotton is Mr.
    Redclay. Not as smelly as I thought, merely earthy.

    Harry Dong. I'm just thinking how
    Beavis and Butthead would react
    if he had occasion to come in as a substitute teacher or something.
     
  15. Aug 21, 2003 #14

    Phobos

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    Granted. But if you know that site, it's kind of tongue-in-cheek (playful bragging that they have all the answers). The website is an offshoot of a nationally syndicated article which gives detailed/accurate (and sassy) answers to a wide variety of questions.

    Perhaps. It at least invites the reader to explore the evidence further and decide for him/herself.

    A hypothesis for which one would need some direct evidence (e.g., measuring brain activity during different lunar phases).

    We would need to check the research paper.


    Since you mentioned it!
    http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a990924.html
     
  16. Aug 21, 2003 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    Interesting link!

    Also, regarding the original point, I think we really agree. The evidence is good [no connection with the moon] but not conclusive.

    I do weigh in with personal testimony as logical evidence [so to speak] with the understanding that it might in fact all be explained away. Personally, I just need a little more convincing.
     
  17. Aug 24, 2003 #16

    Phobos

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    Show of hands...who feels crazier during a full moon? :wink:
     
  18. Aug 24, 2003 #17
    Count me out. The fact I'm covered
    with fur and bloodthirsty during
    full moons is meaningless. That's
    the way I always am.
     
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