What is dooring and how can it be prevented?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Personal Injury

Bicyclists should be able to ride without having to worry about being injured by drivers. This is especially true in areas where there are bicycle lanes. One of the biggest hazards for bicyclists is dooring. 

Dooring occurs when a vehicle door is opened in the path of the bicyclist. This can lead to the bicyclist slamming into the door. In some cases, the door may strike the bicyclist and cause them to lose control of the bicycle. 

How can a vehicle occupant prevent dooring?

Dooring can be prevented by using the Dutch reach. This means anyone in a vehicle should use the hand farthest from the door to open the door. This will force them to turn slightly backward so they can look to see if there are any bicyclists coming their way. 

Because bicyclists have such a small profile, it’s critical for occupants of vehicles to actually look for them. It’s not enough to think that a quick glance will work because there’s a chance they may miss the bicyclist. 

What happens if a bicyclist is doored?

A bicyclist who’s doored may fall off the bike, which can lead to them slamming to the ground. This can lead to head or spinal cord injuries. It may also lead to road rash and bruising. Anyone who’s injured in these instances should get medical care right away. This may be costly, but it’s necessary to ensure any injuries are properly treated. 

Victims of dooring may opt to pursue a compensation claim from the negligent party. This can help them to recover the financial damages, but it must be done within the statute of limitations.