Even the world’s fastest production motorcycle, the aptly named Lightning LS-218, wouldn’t stand a chance even though it can travel at 218mph (about 350km/h), hence the name.
Cars don’t need to outrun a lightning storm as the lightning energy passes safely over the metal roof of the vehicle. However, it can fry the vehicle’s electrics and cause fires.
Drivers and passengers in convertibles and motorcycle riders and pillions have been known to be killed by lightning strikes even while moving.
Lightning safety tips
Five to 10 Australians are killed annually by lightning strikes and about 100 seriously injured. There are no figures available for motorcyclist deaths by lightning.
However unlikely it might be, here are a few tips you can follow to avoid becoming a lightning statistic.
Keep an eye out for storms by checking the various weather apps on your phone. You may also want to subscribe to a weather alert service that advises of severe weather.
If a storm is nearby, don’t wait until it hits as lightning can strike up to 25km in front of an advancing storm.
Pull over and seek shelter in a ditch or somewhere low. Don’t stand next to your bike, a tree, a pole or any other tall or metal conductor of electricity!
Don’t pull over next to a river, creek, dam, pool or any other body of water. While it will not attract lightning, it will conduct electricity.
If you pull over in a roadside park with no shelter, you might politely ask a parked driver if you can shelter in their vehicle. But don’t touch anything metal inside the car or talk on your mobile phone.