You may have seen an autocycle on the street without knowing what it really was. It is kind of difficult to nail down a definition, but by and large it’s a three-wheeled, enclosed vehicle that is a combination of a motorcycle and a car. They have a steering wheel, a seat for the driver, and sometimes they have seats for passengers.
Currently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration classifies these cars as three-wheelers. However, there are all kinds of conflicting laws across the country regulating them, which can make it confusing to know how an autocycle accident should be handled.
Because autocycles are still considered motorcycles for federal classification, they must comply with all motorcycle safety standards and regulations.
So what happens if you get into an accident in an autocycle? What if you get into an accident with an autocycle?
FIRST, RECEIVE MEDICAL ATTENTION
Anytime you get into an accident, whether it’s on a three-wheeled vehicle, a motorcycle, a bike, or a car, you should always seek medical attention immediately—even if you don’t feel like your injuries are severe. You never know when you might potentially have an internal injury that doesn’t present symptoms right away, and it’s important to get checked over by a physician who can determine what injuries you have and what treatment you may possibly need.
AUTOCYCLE ROAD AND SAFETY LAWS
Except for Arkansas, no other states restrict autocycles from driving on the highway, which means they could potentially be driving alongside cars and motorcycles that are going at highway speeds. There is a danger in allowing autocycles on the highway because many states do not require seatbelts or that autocycles are enclosed.
In fact, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, less than half of the states have specific safety laws for autocycles:
- 19 states require autocycles to have seatbelts.
- 16 states require that the driver not sit or straddle the seat.
- 15 states require autocycles to be enclosed.
- Just four states require autocycles to have seatbelts.
Because the laws can be a bit murky on what an autocycle is, many states are counting autocycle accidents as motorcycle accidents. This is unfortunate because it can be difficult to get real statistics on autocycle accidents. In response to this issue, the state of Pennsylvania has required that accident report forms distinguish between autocycle accidents and motorcycle accidents, but it remains to be seen how these incidents will be categorized in the future in other states.
Laws regarding autocycles can be confusing, which can be especially frustrating if you have been involved in an accident with one in Georgia. You’re going to need a legal team that’s prepared to look at all the facts and help you understand your rights. Call the Fry Law Team today at (404) 948-3571 for more information or to set up a consultation with one of our legal experts.