Cyclists already face a number of dangers when on the road. Though they mostly focus on moving vehicles, and for good reason, that is not the only source of trouble.
Dooring may also pose a real threat to cyclists everywhere. But what is it?
The Active Transportation Alliance discusses the “door zone”, a dangerous area for cyclists. This is the area next to the parking for cars in which the car door extends out when a passenger or driver opens it.
Dooring occurs when a cyclist using the bicycle lane ends up getting struck by a driver or passenger in a vehicle who opens the door without checking to see if the path is clear first.
Why is it a danger?
Dooring proves a major threat to a victim for numerous reasons. First, the impact of a bicycle into the side of an opened door can actually cause a lot of harm by itself. This includes concussive damage, bruises, scrapes and potentially worse.
Next, it increases the cyclist’s chance of getting thrown into the street. This can potentially put the cyclist at risk of getting struck or run over by another vehicle that does not have the time or room to swerve and avoid the cyclist.
It is important for a driver to check before swinging their doors open into the road for many reasons, including this. It is also important for cyclists to give cars a wide berth so as to avoid ending up doored by an inattentive driver.