Dax Shepard, a motorcycle enthusiast, has revealed that he recently was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that left him with some pretty intense injuries.
"I was passing six guys on Sonoma Raceway on a motorcycle and I was braking very, very hard—hard enough that the back wheel was off the ground for a good 100 yards," the 45-year-old revealed during an episode of his podcast, Armchair Expert. "And then someone turned in, as they have the right to, I was totally at blame. I thought I would be able to slide in between, but someone turned in and I was already under full brake and I couldn't go anywhere."
After clipping the other rider’s bumper, he "went over the handlebars and landed pretty hard." While he admits that his accident was "a little demoralizing" he returned to the track after icing his injury. However, he later opted to leave because "it was too painful.”
"I've been at the hospital for seven hours today," he continued. "The final tally was four broken ribs, the clavicle's broken in three places, and I need surgery. And then I broke my hand that I'd broke a couple months ago."
"I feel very bad. It's inconvenient for everyone. It scares everyone. I'm sure you and Kristen [Bell, Shepard's wife] were scared and I feel guilty about that,” he added to his co-host, Monica Padman.
He also shared a photo of his injuries on Instagram, thanking fans for their “well wishes and concern.” “I'm in one piece and spirits are high 🙂 Sorry for causing concern,” he added.
Shepard is, of course, not alone in his motorcycle racing injuries. According to a 2016 observational study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, crashes are a pretty regular feature of elite motorcycle racing, with a crash prevalence of 9.7 per 100 riders during one racing season studied.
Researchers were able to determine three different types of motorcycle crashes: lowside (falling toward the inside of the turn), highside (falling toward the outside of the turn), and topside (going over the motorcycles handle bars). According to Shepard's account of his accident, it sounds like he suffered a topside crash. Of the 78 total crashes analyzed by the study, 58 were lowsides, 13 were highsides, 2 were topsides, and 5 were indeterminate. While there wasn't quite enough information on topside crashes, researchers found that lowside crashes proved a lower risk to motorcycle drivers than highside crashes, which resulted in more significant injuries.
Clearly, protective equipment is essential for all motorcycle racers. The American Federation of Motorcyclists urges racers no to "scrimp on safety gear," recommending a full-face helmet, boots that are at least eight inches high, gloves, a back protector, and leather protective gear.
Despite his injuries, Shepard doesn't intend to completely step away from racing—but he "might be willing to quit for the remainder of 2020," he said, which is probably a good idea to let his body heal.
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