Bike Safety Tip To Avoid Getting “Doored”

door bikeA common bike accident involves getting “doored.” This happens as the bicyclist is riding down the right side of the road, and a motorist in a parked car, suddenly opens his door causing the cyclist to run into it. As an Oakland personal injury attorney, I have represented numerous clients who have had this unfortunate experience.

The injuries can be serious, even life threatening. Recently, an Oakland bicyclist was killed when a driver on McArthur Blvd. opened her door causing the cyclist to pull suddenly to the left where he was hit by an AC Transit Bus.

I am an avid cyclist myself. I recently found a website devoted to bike safety. It outlines ways to avoid this type of bike accident, as well as several other types. Regarding what it calls the “Door Prize” it recommends the following: Ride far enough to the left of the parked vehicles so that an opened door will not interfere with your line of travel. I would add to that my own personal approach. I always keep an eye open to see if there is a driver in the car as I approach from the rear. If there is, I always assume that the driver is going to suddenly open his door or pull out into traffic.

Although the law requires drivers to make sure it is safe before opening their doors, as bike riders we need to drive defensively for our own safety to avoid these type accidents. If you are injured in such a bike accident, it is important to know your legal rights before contacting an insurance company or adjuster.


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