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Is a three-wheeled motorcycle safer?

In motorcycle circles, the rise of the three-wheeled bike has been a bit contentious. Some riders don’t like to think of things like the Polaris Slingshot or the Can-Am Spyder as motorcycles at all. For others, there is no other vehicle they would rather ride.

But are these larger, three-wheeled vehicles any safer? Much has been made about the dangers that motorcyclists face. Do these bikes solve that problem or not?

They do in one sense: It’s harder to tip the bike over. Riders are less likely to cause a single-vehicle accident on their own. Going around a corner especially feels safer and more secure. The bike may be better off if you encounter loose gravel, wet roads or some other issue that may cause a traditional bike to slip out of control.

However, if you get involved in a two-vehicle accident, it’s not much safer at all. The machine is a bit more bulky, but you are still very exposed as a rider. You depend on your helmet and personal safety gear. You do not get an airbag, a passenger cage or other safety features that come with cars. So, while the bike may feel more stable than a traditional motorcycle, it definitely acts more like a motorcycle than a car when you get into an accident.

As always, the risks are very high for riders due to their exposure and the lack of safety systems. If you get injured because another driver made a mistake and caused a crash, you need to know exactly what legal steps you can take.