Some say that Sacramento is a bike-friendly city. Others argue that this statement is far from true. Whatever the case may be, cyclists in any city run the risk of being “doored” by a negligent driver when the driver exits their car without checking for oncoming traffic. Read on to learn what this means, how to avoid and prevent these bicycle accidents, and what to do if you were “doored” in Sacramento.
What Does It Mean to Be “Doored”?
“Dooring” is a term that is used to describe what happens when someone opens a traffic-side door in front of an oncoming vehicle or bicyclist, causing the other person to collide with the open door. These types of accidents can be devastating to an unsuspecting cyclist, since they usually have no way to avoid the open door without swerving into traffic. In these accidents, cyclists either slam into the open door or they swerve around it and are hit by a vehicle in the lane of traffic beside them.
Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Dooring
Because cyclists generally have no more protection than a helmet, the injuries caused by being doored can be catastrophic. Many cyclists even suffer wrongful death when their collision is a fatal one. Act quickly and speak with a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento if you or a loved one needs an attorney for this type of accident.
Common Personal Injuries in Dooring Accidents:
- Back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Wrongful death
Cyclists (as well as motorists) who suffer injuries and property damages because a negligent driver opened their door into traffic deserve to be compensated. Your injuries could cause lasting pain and suffering. Repairs to your bike or to your car aren’t going to pay for themselves. Get in touch with a Sacramento personal injury attorney right away to take legal action and fight for the recovery you deserve.
How to Avoid Being Doored – Or Dooring Someone Else
As a cyclist – There are several ways for bicyclists to avoid being doored. Tips to avoid being doored as a bicyclist include:
- Ride in a designated bike lane
- Ride at least 3 feet away from the sides of parked cars
- Ride slowly past parked cars
- Watch for people who may be about to exit their cars
Remember: It is illegal to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk, even when the roadways are not safe for cyclists. You could be held liable for a pedestrian / bicycle accident. It is also illegal to obstruct traffic, so make sure that whatever action you take is not only safe for you, but is also legal and safe for others.
As a motorist – Most dooring accidents are the fault of a negligent driver; not a negligent cyclist. Here are a few tips for you to prevent a dooring accident as a driver.
- Look for approaching bicyclists (and other vehicles) before opening your car door
- Practice the “Dutch Reach” by using you hand farthest from the door to open the door, causing you to turn your body and making it more likely for you to notice oncoming traffic
- Open your door slowly, which gives you time to notice oncoming cyclists and gives them time to warn you of their approach and / or come to a safe stop
- Park somewhere else!
Injured in a Car Accident or Bicycle Accident? Call Today!
Eliot Reiner, APLC is dedicated to helping injured accident victims in the Sacramento area. Whether you have been seriously injured in a car accident or slipped and fell on someone else’s property, our Sacramento injury attorneys are here to fight for your best interests. Contact us today!