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Are 3-Wheel Motorcycles Really That Much Safer?

Motorcycles get a bad reputation because of the high numbers of motorcycle accidents that happen every year. In 2017, 5,172 motorcyclists died in motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traditional two-wheeled motorcycles accounted for 91% of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes.

When safety-conscious motorcyclists see these statistics, they may think about getting a three-wheeled option, also known as a motor trike, because it seems safer.

But are 3-wheel motorcycles that much safer than traditional motorcycles, or are they just as dangerous? Learning about these kinds of motorcycles will help you determine whether you should take one out on the road instead.

Pros and Cons of 3-Wheel Motorcycles

You may want to look into three-wheel motorcycles because they’re more noticeable on the road; they garner a lot of attention. They’re significantly more visible, which can be a good thing. If you’re riding a traditional motorcycle, drivers may not see you as well, which could lead to a crash.

Additionally, handling a three-wheel motorcycle is more like driving a car. When you’re coming up on a curve, you use the handlebars to navigate instead of leaning the bike, which is what many riders of traditional motorcycles do. Leaning a bike makes it more likely to tip over, especially when the curve is severe, or the rider lacks experience.

Despite these advantages, a three-wheel motorcycle still faces the same fundamental safety issue as a regular bike: you are still out in the open among much heavier vehicles, and you don’t have robust safety features to protect you. If a crash occurs, your risk for a serious injury is very high, whether you’re riding a two-wheel or three-wheel motorcycle.

RELATED: These 4 Factors Will Affect Your North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Case

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Tips for Riding Safely on 3-Wheel Motorcycles

Your three-wheel motorcycle makes you more visible to drivers and makes it easier to steer, but it’s important not to let these advantages make you overconfident. You need to exercise safety and caution whenever you’re out on the road. When riding a motorcycle of any kind, you shouldn’t speed, weave between lanes, or attempt flashy and unsafe maneuvers like wheelies or sharp turns.

You also need to take your three-wheel motorcycle to a mechanic for regular maintenance or whenever you notice a problem. Make sure you have enough gas before riding for long distances.

If this is your first motorcycle, it’s a good idea to take a motorcycle safety course. In North Carolina, these courses are only required for motorcycle riders ages 16–18, but don’t let that requirement fool you into thinking safety courses are just for kids — any new rider can benefit from the potentially life-saving information in these courses.

What to Do After a Crash on a 3-Wheel Motorcycle

If you get into a crash on your three-wheel motorcycle, whether or not it was your fault, there are crucial steps you need to take. If you are injured, go to the hospital right away for treatment. After you receive emergency treatment, make sure to follow any instructions and restrictions you receive, and follow up with your regular doctor or a specialist if the hospital tells you to do so.

If you are not seriously injured, file a police report of the incident, take down the information for anyone else who was involved, take photos of the scene of the crash, and call your insurance provider to report the wreck. Then, go to the hospital or your primary care doctor to get checked out if you are experiencing any pain or think you may have an injury, even if the injury seems minor. Your doctor may suggest X-rays just to make sure nothing is wrong internally. If you start to feel any pain, go back to the doctor as soon as possible.

After you get the treatment you need, contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience with motorcycle crashes. You may be entitled to compensation for your crash, which could help cover your medical bills and other losses, including any time you had to take off work because of your injuries.

Myers Law Firm: Fighting for Motorcycle Crash Victims in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

If you or someone you love has been hurt while riding a motorcycle in the Charlotte area, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. At Myers Law Firm, safety is our top priority. When people like you get hurt in circumstances beyond their control, we fight to get them the justice they deserve.

If you have questions about your legal options or your case, please reach out today to schedule your free consultation. During our discussion, we’ll listen to your story and provide advice about your next steps and what to expect.

To schedule your free consultation, please fill out our easy online contact form or call us at 888-376-2889. We look forward to hearing from you!


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2019, August). Traffic Safety Facts: 2017 Data (DOT HS 812 785). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812785

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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