For Bakersfield residents, motorcycle riding can be one of the most liberating and exciting experiences on the road.
Motorcycle riding is a hobby that has been enjoyed in and around Kern County for generations. The Bakersfield Motorcycle Club, founded in 1919, was one of the first organized groups for motorcycle riders in the country.
With so many new riders taking to the streets every day, it’s important to know the precautions you should take if you’re considering getting on a motorcycle to avoid potential accidents in Bakersfield.
Motorcycle Safety Statistics
California has the most motorcycles in the country, with almost 800,000 registered bikes as of 2020.
In 2019 alone, Kern County registered nearly 18,000 motorcycles.
Given the daunting number of bikes on the streets, safety measures are kept to high standards when operating these vehicles. But even California’s strictest motorcycle laws cannot always prevent accidents.
The most common injuries sustained by motorcyclists in collisions include:
- Fractured and broken bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Limb and feet injuries
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Permanent paralysis and disability
- Tendon and muscle injuries
- Road rash and burns
- Internal organ damage
Although riding in Bakersfield might seem safer because of the sparse traffic, low population, and open roads that make up much of Kern County, accidents can happen anywhere at any time.
Ignoring the safety standards of riding a motorcycle and not following the established driving laws can result in serious injury and even death.
Bakersfield and Kern County Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to a study published by the Statewide Integrated Traffic System (SITS), the following motorcycle accident figures were reported for Kern County and Bakersfield in 2017:
- 261 motorcycle accidents in Kern County
- 77 motorcycle accidents in Bakersfield
- 80% of total motorcycle accidents in Kern County involved injury
- 8% of motorcycle accidents in Kern County were fatal
- The highest incidence of accidents occurred between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
For a small county, these numbers can be alarming. If you’re a motorcycle rider, it’s important to recognize the statistics and make an effort to reduce them through safe driving.
What Are Some Safety Hazards in Bakersfield for Motorcyclists?
As a motorcyclist, avoiding specific hazards and riding behaviors can result in safer conditions for everyone on the road.
Speeding is the leading cause of accidents and fatal collisions for motorcyclists in Bakersfield and across California.
By following the posted speed limits at all times, you keep yourself, other motorists, and pedestrians safe. You also avoid any hefty citations that come with getting pulled over.
Dangerous Roads and Conditions
Kern County features several potentially hazardous roads.
Highway 99, located around Bakersfield, was recently ranked the deadliest road in the United States. Kern Canyon Road is also known for being a hotbed of accidents and collisions.
If you encounter rain, snow, or ice on any road, you should take the necessary precautions, such as slowing down and pulling over.
There are always dangers when you ride a bike, but being alert will help you have a safe riding experience in Bakersfield.
Is Motorcycle Riding Safe in Bakersfield?
Yes, although the answer depends on how much you’re willing to ensure your driving is safe and responsible.
Motorcycle riding is dangerous, no matter where you are. Vehicles, pedestrians, road conditions, and other factors all play into how safe or dangerous the situation can be.
If you are going to ride in Bakersfield, you must follow the posted traffic laws and maintain awareness of your surroundings. Otherwise, you risk serious motorcycle accidents and injuries.