Bicyclists in California can ride all year long, and some choose to head out in the rain or other inclement weather. One issue they face is that drivers might not always watch for them. This is especially true when the drivers park and don’t watch for cyclists when they open the door. The cyclist is at risk of “dooring,” which means getting hit by the door as they ride by.
California has a specific law that addresses dooring. Vehicle Code 22517 sets the standard for drivers and passengers to check for oncoming traffic, including bicycles before they open the door. It also requires them to close the doors as quickly as possible.
Why are dooring laws necessary?
The rate of dooring makes it one of the most common vehicle-bike accidents. While more research into this matter is needed, the need for laws to prevent it from happening is necessary. Californians are fortunate to have a strict law, which was set in 1963.
Dooring can lead to serious injuries that might dramatically impact lives. When a person on a bicycle hits the door, or if the door hits them, they may fall off the bike. Broken bones, road rash, brain injuries, and spinal cord damage are all possible for a person who goes through this type of accident.
One benefit of having dooring laws in place is that bicyclists have an easier time when they have to make legal claims. They don’t have to show that they couldn’t avoid the door in order to make their claim.
Sometimes, bicycling lanes can put cyclists in danger of dooring. Because of this, it is imperative that anyone who is opening a door in a space where a bicycle will travel is careful. This one simple act can greatly improve the safety of people who choose to ride bikes in the city.
What should dooring victims know?
Dooring victims should remember that they have legal rights. They can seek compensation for the damages they suffered in the crash, but there is a two-year time limit to do this. Getting medical care quickly can help to address any injuries that are present. This also ties the injuries to the accident, which may help your case.