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What is dooring?

In urban environments, where bicycles and automobiles share the roadways, dooring is a common and potentially hazardous occurrence. This term refers to opening a vehicle door directly into the path of an oncoming cyclist.

Dooring often results in collisions and serious injuries. It is crucial for drivers and cyclists to understand the concept of dooring, its associated risks and the precautions to help prevent such incidents.

The anatomy of dooring

Dooring typically transpires when a motorist parked parallel to the road opens their vehicle’s door without adequately checking for approaching cyclists. Due to the proximity of bicycles to the curb or parked cars, cyclists may not have sufficient time to react or maneuver around the suddenly opened door.

In many cases, drivers may be unaware of the presence of cyclists approaching from behind. This is more likely to happen in busy urban settings where traffic noise and distractions are prevalent. This lack of awareness increases the risk of dooring incidents.

For cyclists, navigating narrow city streets or congested traffic can be challenging. When cycling alongside parked cars, cyclists’ visibility of opening doors may be obstructed. This can further amplify the risk of collisions.

The risks associated with dooring

The impact of a collision with a car door can be substantial, particularly at higher speeds or in heavy traffic. Dooring incidents can result in a range of injuries for cyclists, including:

  • Bruises
  • Lacerations
  • Fractures
  • Traumatic head injuries

Beyond physical harm, dooring incidents can also have lasting psychological effects on cyclists. The suddenness of the collision and the sense of vulnerability experienced while riding a bicycle may lead to heightened anxiety, fear and reluctance to cycle in urban areas.

Dooring poses a significant risk to cyclists in urban environments, highlighting the need for proactive measures to help prevent such incidents. In the event that one does occur, victims can seek legal guidance to better understand their rights and options under the law.