Accidents between motor vehicles and bicycles can be devastating when bike-riding victims sustain serious injuries. Many of these incidents occur at intersections and when vehicles and bikes are in motion. However, in Kentucky and throughout the country, one form of serious vehicle-bike accident can happen when motor vehicles are not even on.
Dooring can cause disabling injuries to bicyclists and is a completely preventable form of accident when drivers use care. This post will discuss dooring and what driver can do to keep bike riders safe. This informational post should not be read as legal advice and when victims of bike accidents need answers, they can turn to their trusted personal injury attorneys.
What is dooring?
Dooring is a unique form of bike-car collision because it happens when a vehicle is parked. Generally, dooring occurs when a driver parallel parks their car and then opens their door into the road. A bicyclist approaching on the driver’s side of the car may not see a driver opening their door and may ride directly into the door, causing them to sustain a significant crash and potentially suffer serious injuries. Dooring can result in bike riders flipping over vehicle doors and suffering other serious traumas.
How can dooring be prevented?
Dooring happens when drivers are unaware of their surroundings. A negligent individual who throws open their door without looking out for bike traffic may cause a bicyclist to collide with their door and suffer serious harm. The time between the opening of a door and a bicyclist’s ability to react may be insufficient to allow them to prevent a significant crash.
Drivers can prevent dooring by employing a tactic known as the Dutch reach. The Dutch reach requires a driver to use their right hand to open their door. By using their right hand to open their door, the driver must turn their body which forces them to look behind them and to where bike traffic may come from. By looking behind them, drivers may see bikes in their path and wait until it is clear to open their doors.
Dooring is a preventable form of bicycle accident. Drivers can and should take steps to stop the negligent practice of opening their doors into the paths of cyclists. Victims of dooring may have rights, and those with possible claims can choose to work with personal injury attorneys to learn what legal options are available to them.