Bicyclists And Car Doors
Bicyclists face threats from moving cars and cars parked near a bike lane. Dooring is a traffic collision which occurs when a passenger exits a vehicle and opens a door into the pathway of a moving bicycle. A bicyclist will then have to either swerve to avoid the door or face a dangerous collision. Running into a car door can cause severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.
How To Protect Yourself As A Bicyclist
The Seattle Traffic Code states that car passengers should be aware of their surroundings when opening their door and should not leave their door open for longer than needed. Unfortunately, bicyclists still have to avoid car doors and risk running into oncoming traffic.
While a bicyclist cannot control when a passenger chooses to open a door, there are a few strategies that they can use to try to protect themselves. Bicyclists should keep an eye out for recently parked cars and give them a wide berth if possible. Bicycle riders should slow their speed when traveling close to parked cars and stop if necessary to avoid swerving.
Dooring And The Law
Car passengers and bicyclists are legally required to be aware of their surroundings and to do their best to not run into each other. Generally, the door opener will be liable for any injuries caused to the bicyclist, but it can depend on whether the bicyclist was traveling at an unsafe speed. If you get doored while riding a bicycle, contact an attorney to evaluate your case.
Dean Standish Perkins & Associates has helped Seattle-area bicyclists with their injuries for 30 years. Our Seattle office is well aware of the pain and suffering that dooring has caused the bicyclist community. If a car passenger doors you, call 206-981-5043 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.