When a motorist opens their car door when a bicyclist is coming their way, this creates a sudden obstacle for the cyclist. Often this causes an accident that seriously harms the bicyclist. By checking their surroundings before opening the doors of a car, drivers and their passengers can avoid dooring accidents.
Though you may safely ride your bicycle, you cannot predict what other drivers and their passengers will do. Cyclists are more vulnerable to accidents since they are not wrapped in their vehicles and do not have seatbelts or airbags. Dooring accidents are fairly common and can cause severe physical injuries for the biker.
Listed below are some of the more common injuries caused when dooring accidents occur:
Bicycling is great for our health and the environment. As more and more people incorporate bicycling into their lifestyle, there are increased numbers of cyclists on the road. Most dooring accidents happen in urban areas, especially where cars are parked along the side of the street. While bicycle enthusiasts are avoiding the annoying parts of driving and parking in a city, they are exposing themselves to the potential for accidents like being doored.
To avoid being doored by the parked cars parallel to the street, a bicyclist may have to ride in the middle lane. This may cause other obstacles as it slows the traffic flow. Many cyclists are forced to swerve to avoid being doored, which causes them to get in the way of other motorists, resulting in accidents.
There is a maneuver referred to as the “Dutch Reach” that may help those traveling in a motor vehicle to avoid causing a dooring accident. This technique is advised for drivers and passengers. They are advised to get into the habit of opening the car’s door with the hand that is furthest away from the door handle. By doing this, the individual in the car will be forced to turn their heads, so they are reminded to check for cyclists before opening the door.
When opening a door using the “Dutch Reach,” you will only open it a small amount at first since you cannot sling it all the way open. This will clue the cyclist that someone might be about to open the door wider, and it causes the passenger or driver to check before they do. This causes a safer situation for everyone.
According to California law, the onus is on those in the vehicle to avoid dooring accidents. No one on the side of moving traffic can open the door unless they can do so reasonably safely. Car doors should only be opened long enough to safely unload passengers.
Those operating motor vehicles have the responsibility to open their car doors safely. If a dooring accident occurred, they likely failed to meet this obligation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dooring accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
To recover damages, the driver must prove the following:
If a dooring accident caused you harm, you could be eligible for financial compensation. Reach out to the bicycle attorneys at Callahan & Blaine for assistance. Our impressive roster of more than 28 skilled attorneys has over 700 years of combined experience. To secure the maximum settlement available, you need the diligent representation you will find at Callahan & Blaine.