You’ve heard of it happening, but you never thought it would happen to you. And it all occurred so fast, right? One minute, you’re riding your bike headed to your destination, and the next moment, your ride comes to a full sudden stop, because someone flung open their door right into you travel path.
Situations like this in our community are commonly referred to as getting “doored,” but after you realize the extent and seriousness of your injury, you call it something else. And that “something” is a personal injury negligence claim.
Statistics on Dooring
There hasn’t been a whole lot of research done on ‘dooring,’ as you might find in other types of accidents. However, there has been enough investigating done to know that this is a growing problem.
Chicago has some numbers on this kind of accident published on welovecycling.org:
“In 2011, for example, Chicago registered 344 injuries of cyclists who crashed into a sudden obstacle created by an unexpected opening of a car door. Dooring thus made for 19.7%, or almost a fifth of all cycling injuries.”
The website also states:
“In 2003, dooring was the cause of 11.9% of all cycling injuries registered in Toronto, while 8% of all serious injuries of London cyclists were the result of a collision with a car door. Dooring claimed the same percentage of victims also in Victoria, Australia, between 2006 and 2010. According to experts, dooring injuries rank among the less dangerous ones compared to other kinds of accidents, but they shouldn’t be ignored. Dooring can kill too. In New York City, dooring accounted for the deaths of 7 (i.e. 3%) out of the 225 cyclists killed in total from 1996 to 2005. In London, dooring claimed the lives of 3 people between 2010 and 2012.”
How To Prevent Dooring
This is, indeed, a subject worth exploring, because the design of our roadways in DC don’t exactly provide a lot of flexibility for bicyclists. Think about it: bike lanes run parallel to parking spots, so a driver has no other option but to open his or her door directly into the bike lane.
One might argue, “then don’t ride your bike in the city,” however, tell that to the person who can’t afford a car in the city who NEEDS their bike to get from place to place. Or what about that person who may have a car but wants to (understandably) avoid the horrific (and expansive) parking scene in downtown DC. Biking may be the best (or only) option – which is why we have bikers all over the DC Metro area and those handy bike companies that allow you to rent a bike and return it a short time later.
The solution then, may come with car manufacturers. There is talk that all cars should be equipped with a sensor that would beep to warn the would-be-door-opener to wait because a biker is approaching. That may, in fact, work, but sadly, won’t help if you’ve already been doored and have been injured.
Bicycle Lawyer in DC
If you have been doored on your bike, don’t wait any longer to get a lawyer. As noted above, people have been killed as a result of dooring, and many more have been seriously injured. If you or a loved one has been doored, contact your DC Bicycle Accident Lawyer at The Lapidus Law Firm. We are here to help – and our #1 goal will be to get you a fair and reasonable settlement for your injures.