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How can motorists avoid “dooring” cyclists?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

People who travel inside vehicles need to get out at some point. It applies to both drivers and passengers. To do so, they need to open one of the vehicle doors. Doing this without due caution could cause the door to be damaged if they open it into the path of an oncoming vehicle. If the oncoming vehicle is one with two wheels, then they also risk causing serious injury or even death to the rider.

“Dooring” as this is known leads to unnecessary injuries and deaths each year. Cyclists and motorcyclists are already vulnerable because they have hardly any protection. Someone opening a door in their path is like a brick wall appearing from nowhere in front of them. Not only could they suffer injuries from hitting the door itself, but they could suffer further injuries from their landing and perhaps from other vehicles whose path they land in.

Avoiding dooring is simple

There is no need for drivers or passengers to door people. They just need to be a bit more careful about checking before they reach for the handle. One technique that can help them to be more careful is known as the Dutch Reach. All it requires is using the hand furthest from the door, rather than the one nearest it, to open the door. Doing this requires the person to rotate their body backward, which increases the chance they will spot a rider approaching from behind.

Something so simple could save a life. If a driver or passenger has not been careful enough then they should expect to be held responsible for their negligence if they injure someone.