Dax Shepard Tells Wild Story About Breaking 4 Ribs, Moving On With His Day Like Nothing Happened

dax shepard conan

Earlier this year, actor and TV host Dax Shepard got into an off-road accident that messed his hand up pretty badly, though it was essentially his own fault that the accident happened. Memories of that incident were likely bouncing around his head after he was recently involved in a motorcycle accident, in which he broke multiple bones. But he apparently didn't realize the extent of his injuries in the immediate aftermath and just went about his normal life until the next day. Dax Shepard is obviously my new spirit animal.

Dax Shepard unveiled this otherwise harrowing tale during a recent installment of his stellar podcast Armchair Expert, in which Sean Penn was his eloquent guest, but he managed to make the story sound like an inconsequential mishap from the distant past, as opposed to a bone-breaking crash that happened less than 24 hours previous. Here's how the accident went down:

I was passing six guys at 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 – and then someone turned in, as they had 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. I clipped their bumper, and then I went over the handlebars and landed pretty hard. First time I’d ever been down on the track, and it was a little demoralizing; it was a bummer. Side note: got thoroughly yelled at by the track crew for not getting off the track soon enough. The rules are, with good reason, the second you crash, you should get off the track so you don’t get hit by a motorcycle.

Dax Shepard, whose comedy Bless This Mess was cancelled by ABC earlier this year, somewhat sheepishly explained that the way he'd crashed, the tires and dark areas of his motorcycle were facing out towards oncoming vehicles. And because it was laying in the middle of a turn, his first instinct was to worry about other bikers who might not see the fallen motorcycle, so he just stood next to the vehicle and waved his arms to alert everyone else. Apparently that didn't sit too well with Sonoma Raceway's employees. Shepard continued:

So the fine folks that work at the track just came and really let me have it. And I was too injured to really object, so I just took it on the chin. Went and sat in the pits for about an hour and a half, iced my shoulder – that’s what was really hurting – and my hand a little bit. And then I went back out for two sessions and then it was just too painful by the end of it, so I then got in my car and I drove back from Sonoma to L.A.

For anyone unaware, Sonoma Raceway is around 375 miles away from Los Angeles. So not only did Dax Shepard stick through the pain for more than hour solely to ride around the track a few more times, he also followed that with a 5+ hour drive home. At that point, one might have thought he would have realized something was really wrong, but no, he just went to sleep.

The next morning, Shepard and wife Kristen Bell got up and attended their daughter Delta's preschool graduation. Astoundingly enough, it was only at this point when the actor realized that his injuries were a little more than he could take. Here's how he explained it:

I got to a point while we were there that I thought, ‘I really should go get this checked out at the hospital.’ So I’ve been at the hospital for seven hours today. The final tally was four broken ribs, the clavicle is broken in three places and I need surgery, and then I broke my hand that I’d broke a couple months ago.

The good news? Some of the metacarpal bones that had been broken in his previous accident made it through this one unscathed. So that's a plus for the medical field, which is probably the only silver lining in this whole ordeal. Well, I guess the fact that Dax Shepard's injuries were debilitating enough to render him a wailing mess in the middle of Sonoma is a silver lining in and of itself. The fact that all of this happened so soon before Shepard recorded the story for his podcast kind of blows my mind. I can only hope he got some decent painkillers from the hospital for his troubles.

You can check out some visual proof of Dax Shepard's injuries in his Instagram post seen below, though the best part of the pic is Kristen Bell's "tsk tsk tsk" face in the background.

A photo posted by on

Here's hoping all goes well with Dax Shepard's future surgery – or surgeries, depending on how safely he makes it to the hospital in the future. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates, and be sure to keep current with our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to see when Shepard's debut on Top Gear America will show up on Motortrend.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.