Call 24/7 (920) 222-2222

What Are the Common Causes of Trike Accidents?

With their three-wheel design, trikes provide a stable and enjoyable way to explore the open roads, allowing enthusiasts to appreciate Wisconsin’s scenic beauty. While these vehicles are often easier for beginners to control than their two-wheeled counterparts, accidents can still occur, especially when other motorists are careless.

Understanding why trike accidents happen can help you stay safer. If you end up in a crash, an Appleton motorcycle accident attorney from Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can help you seek compensation.

What is a Trike?

With its three wheels, a trike combines the excitement of riding a motorcycle with the stability and ease of a car. Adding a third wheel improves balance, making it a user-friendly option for new riders. This added stability doesn’t diminish the enjoyment of riding. It ensures a smoother ride that focuses more on the pleasure of the journey than on the skill of balancing.

With generous storage space and enough room for a passenger, trikes are ideal for those who prefer company during their adventures or anyone looking for a laid-back mode of travel.

Common Causes of Trike Accidents

Though trikes are known for their safety features, there’s still a risk when hitting the road in Wisconsin. Just like with motorcycles, accidents can happen under similar circumstances:

Drivers Not Seeing Riders

Trikes often go unnoticed by drivers due to their compact size, which makes them blend into the background on the road. Drivers, conditioned to look out for cars and trucks, might inadvertently ignore smaller, less familiar vehicles such as trikes.

In congested traffic, trikes can easily get lost in a car’s blind spots or be obscured by larger vehicles. The risk is heightened at busy intersections, where drivers juggling multiple tasks might miss seeing a trike. Distractions only add to the danger, raising the likelihood of head-on crashes, particularly when a driver making a left turn overlooks an oncoming trike.

Rider Inexperience

Inexperience among riders contributes to road accidents, particularly for those just starting with trikes. Transitioning from a two-wheeled motorcycle to a trike requires adapting to a different set of handling skills, which can have a learning curve for newcomers.

Novices often need help estimating the proper braking distances, the speeds at which to take corners, and how to navigate safely among other vehicles. These errors can lead to a higher risk of accidents.

Additionally, beginner riders may not have mastered defensive driving techniques, such as anticipating traffic flow or ensuring they’re visible to other drivers. When faced with unexpected or reckless actions by another driver, these new riders might lack the experience to avoid a crash.

Road Conditions

Even though these three-wheeled motorcycles benefit from increased stability, they are still vulnerable to slippery conditions, potholes, and road debris. Challenges arise from poorly maintained roads, bad weather, or scattered cargo, all of which can lead to dangerous collisions.

The risk increases when other motorists don’t adjust their driving to match these conditions. For instance, if a driver speeds or brakes abruptly on wet or icy roads, they could lose control and crash into a trike rider.

Visibility Issues

Visibility challenges on the road heighten the chance of accidents, especially for those on trikes. Riders who don’t wear bright, reflective clothing can easily fade into the surroundings, making it challenging for drivers to notice them. Additionally, neglecting trike upkeep, such as not fixing broken or ineffective headlights—a requirement under Statute 347.09(b)—further diminishes their visibility to other road users.

Likewise, drivers must keep their vehicles in good shape, ensuring that headlights, taillights, and brake lights function correctly. Neglecting these responsibilities can lead to accidents, with the at-fault driver potentially held accountable for any harm caused.


Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs can raise the likelihood of accidents on the road by impairing judgment, slowing down reaction times, and impacting safe driving decisions. Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% are found to be four times more likely to crash compared to those who are sober.

For trike riders, the importance of sobriety cannot be overstated, yet their safety is also jeopardized by other drivers who choose to drive while intoxicated. The ability of an impaired driver to notice and properly respond to trikes is diminished, and their erratic driving behavior can severely limit a rider’s chances of avoiding a dangerous situation.

Sobriety on the road is a critical responsibility that everyone must uphold—drivers and riders alike—to protect the safety of all road users.

Understand Your Rights to Compensation After a Trike Accident

Riding a trike is an incredible adventure, but sometimes, another driver’s careless actions can turn a fun ride into something tragic. If you’ve been injured because someone else wasn’t paying attention on the road, it’s time to talk to the professionals at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers.

We understand the special challenges trike and motorcycle riders face in Wisconsin, and we’re here to fight for you, especially against insurance companies or legal teams that might not see things your way. Why not give us a call today? We offer a free consultation during which one of our injury lawyers can discuss your case and legal options with you.

Get Help Now

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.