Preventing Bicycle “Dooring” Accidents

Bicycle “dooring” lacks a formal definition. However, “dooring” refers to when a driver or passenger opens a car door directly into a bicyclist’s line of travel. As this action is unexpected by the bicyclist, the bicyclist does not have time to react, and there is a collision as the bicyclist collides with the open car door. Often, this means that the bicyclist flips off of the bicycle, with a hard landing. Often, injuries stemming from “dooring” accidents are severe and traumatic, and can involve several types of bodily injury. In some cases, the bicyclist has died from “dooring” accidents.

While bicycle “dooring” can happen in any location in which cars are parked along a traffic lane, often “dooring” happens in urban, downtown areas where parallel parking is widespread, and other conditions exist, such as high levels of traffic and/or relatively narrow lanes.

The article of November 22, 2013, titled “Protect Yourself From Dooring Epidemic With Common Sense, Rules of the Road,” provides safety tips on how bicyclists can prevent bicycle “dooring” accidents.

The article mentions a “Wicker Park dooring epidemic,” and quotes Kathleen Widmer, the Illinois Secretary of State’s foremost bicycle safety expert, on safety tips to avoid “dooring.”

Two of the safety suggestions from Widmer, as seen in the article:

Wear a helmet. Be aware of your surroundings. And use common sense.


“You have to be watching parked cars. If you see red lights, white lights or someone in the car, those are a giveaway that something is happening,” Widmer said. “You have to be aware that a door might open. The point is there are a lot of obstacles that bicyclists have to think about. You can’t just hop on a bike and ride.”

The article also has additional suggestions on measures to help prevent “dooring” accidents.

As well, bicyclists’ awareness of the “door zone” can help prevent “dooring” accidents.

Of course, motorists and passengers can help in preventing “dooring” accidents in a number of ways. Perhaps chief among the suggestions to motorists and passengers is to look for bicyclists traveling toward the vehicle before opening the car door.

Should you be involved in a vehicle accident, there are certain actions you should take in order to protect your rights. Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC has compiled a reference document titled “10 Steps You Should Follow After an Auto Accident.”
Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC ( concentrates in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases involving vehicle accidents (car, motorcycle, bike, bus, pedestrian, truck, etc.) This intense focus allows us to consistently achieve winning verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Should you be involved in a car accident, there are certain actions you should take in order to protect your rights. You should not assume – especially without proper legal representation – that you will receive appropriate compensation for your injuries, hardships and/or losses. To speak directly with a trial lawyer from Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC immediately, call (773) 392-8182 at any time. There is no fee for this consultation.

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