As a cyclist, you do spend time worrying about car accidents. You know that drivers who overtake you may not give you enough space and could clip your bike, for instance, or you worry about drivers who fail to even look for cyclists as they turn.
These are risks that you face, but it’s also important to remember that even a parked car can pose a serious threat. If someone is about to get out of that car, having just pulled into the parking space, you could get doored.
How do dooring accidents happen?
A dooring accident occurs when a driver does not check to see if a cyclist is coming up behind the parked car, either in a bike lane or riding near the shoulder. The cyclist has a legal right to be there, but the person in the car only looks for other motor vehicles. Seeing none, they swing the door open without warning.
For a cyclist, this means a split-second decision. You can keep going straight and hit the door at full speed. This impact can cause serious injuries as you’re thrown from your bike, including potential head and brain injuries.
The second option is no better. You can swerve to your left, attempting to avoid the door. If you get lucky, there won’t be any traffic, but this is the last direction you ever want to swerve. It puts you right out in the traffic lanes and you could be hit by a second car that was about to pass you safely. There’s no way that drivers can avoid you without themselves swerving into oncoming traffic.
You can seek compensation
If you get injured by a driver’s mistake while riding your bike, you can seek compensation for your medical bills, injuries, lost wages and related costs. Find out more about how you can hold a negligent driver accountable for a dooring accident.