If you're a frequent bicyclist and you don't know the term "dooring accident," then it's time to learn about this extremely dangerous type of collision. It happens like this: A bicyclist is traveling down the road or sidewalk, and there's a line of cars parallel parked along the side of the road. Unbeknownst to the bicyclist, someone is inside one of these cars and about to open his door. The door opens suddenly, the bicyclist has no time to react and slams into the edge of the door in a violent collision.
Dooring accidents like this are common, and they frequently cause catastrophic injuries to the bicyclist involved. In the worst cases, they can be fatal.
The injured bicyclist can seek to hold the at-fault party financially responsible. However, that doesn't mean that people in vehicles shouldn't do everything possible to stop these incidents from happening.
One essential technique for preventing these accidents, for example, is known as the "Dutch reach." This maneuver involves drivers and passengers opening their car doors with their hand on the opposite side of the door. As they reach across their bodies for the door handle, those using the Dutch reach will naturally twist their torsos and heads to momentarily check behind them to ensure that the way is clear. If a bicyclist is coming, they can pause long enough to allow the cyclist to safely pass.
Drivers and passengers who open their doors into the paths of bicyclists can be financially liable for the injuries and damages that result. If you or your loved one was injured in a bicycle versus car accident, learn more about your legal rights and options now.