Bakersfield Motorcycle Accidents Surge Nearly 30%, New Data Reveals

May 22, 2024 | Article by Chain | Cohn | Clark staff

Bakersfield Motorcycle Accidents Surge Nearly 30%, New Data Reveals

Bakersfield saw 88 crashes on its roadways involving motorcycles, resulting in 101 injuries and 6 deaths, in 2023, according to new data analyzed by Law Office of Chain | Cohn | Clark.

After experiencing a two-year drop in motorcycle accidents in 2021 and 2022, motorcycle accidents shot up nearly 30% in 2023, which was the second highest motorcycle accident rate in the last 10 years. In 2020, Bakersfield saw 96 accidents involving motorcycles, which resulted in 104 injuries and 8 deaths. The lowest rate in the last 10 years was in 2016 when 50 motorcycle crashes took place, resulting in 57 injuries.

Of the motorcycle crashes in 2023, a majority (41%) were broadside crashes followed by rear-end crashes (24%) and hitting an object in the roadway (13%). A majority of the crashes took place between the hours of 3pm and 6pm. Law enforcement labeled the following crashes as “primary crash factor violations”:

  • 28% for unsafe speeds.
  • 16% for automobile right of way.
  • 15% for improper turning.
  • 15% for traffic signals and signs.
  • 13% for driving under the influence of alcohol.

“The alarming spike in motorcycle accidents on Bakersfield’s roads in 2023 is a wake-up call. We cannot accept this as the new normal,” said Matt Clark, managing partner and accident attorney at Chain | Cohn | Clark. “Every life lost or forever altered by these crashes is one too many. We need to all prioritize motorcycle safety through education, enforcement, and infrastructure improvements. We owe it to the victims and their families to make our streets safer for all who share the road.”

Click the graph below for an interactive look at the Bakersfield motorcycle accident statistics over the last 10 years, and continue reading below to learn more about local motorcycle accidents, and what we can all do to prevent future crashes.

Nationally, motorcycle fatalities increased by 20% over the past decade, reaching 5,932 deaths in 2021 — the highest number on record, according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The states with the most motorcycle deaths in were Florida (668), California (634), Texas (564), Arizona (232), Georgia (221), and North Carolina (220).

About 38% of fatalities occurred when riders were not wearing helmets. Motorcyclists in general are about 22 times more likely to die in a crash and four times more likely to be injured than passenger vehicle occupants per vehicle mile traveled, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.



May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness and promote safety measures to protect motorcyclists. By working together and prioritizing motorcycle safety, we can reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities on our roads. Ensuring motorcycle safety requires a collective effort from riders, drivers, and policymakers.

“Every life lost or forever altered by a preventable crash is one too many,” Clark said. “Let us honor the victims and their families by making our streets safer for all who share the road.”

Here are some essential safety tips:

For Motorcycle Riders

  • Always wear a DOT-approved helmet and protective gear.
  • Obey traffic laws, including speed limits and traffic signals.
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Take a motorcycle safety course to improve your riding skills.
  • Make yourself visible by using reflective gear and keeping your headlights on.

For Drivers:

  • Always check blind spots and mirrors for motorcycles before changing lanes or turning.
  • Maintain a safe following distance from motorcycles.
  • Be extra cautious at intersections, where most motorcycle accidents occur.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, such as texting or using a phone.
  • Signal well in advance to give motorcyclists time to react.

For Policymakers, Local Governments and Communities:

  • Implement and enforce helmet laws and other motorcycle safety regulations.
  • Invest in infrastructure improvements, such as dedicated motorcycle lanes and better road maintenance.
  • Promote public awareness campaigns about motorcycle safety and sharing the road.
  • Support rider education programs and encourage riders to take safety courses.


If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form, text, or chat with us at