Dooring accidents occur when a driver of a vehicle opens the door without regard for a traveling cyclist, subsequently causing a collision.
Depending on the circumstances of the crash, a dooring incident can result in serious injuries to a bike rider.
Potential injuries from dooring
The impact of hitting a door can cause a biker to eject from their bike seat and land on hard pavement, leading to serious bodily damage. Common dooring injuries include:
- Lacerations and broken bones
- Head and facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
While some injuries may heal quickly with minimal medical care, others require long-term treatment and leave deep physical, mental and emotional scars. Injured cyclists may need extensive physical therapy and pain management care.
Preventing dooring incidents
While some dooring incidents happen deliberately because of aggressive behavior, most occur due to negligence and failure to look out for upcoming traffic in the bike lane. To prevent accidents, drivers can make it a habit to turn and look behind the vehicle for cyclists before moving to open the car door. Bike riders can also mitigate the chances of hitting open vehicle doors by using lights or bells and wearing reflective clothing. Additionally, maintaining safe speeds within city limits can help cyclists avoid sudden collisions. When an accident is unavoidable, a properly-fitted helmet can prevent life-altering head injuries.
As an avid bike rider looking for a safe travel experience, it is important to understand California traffic laws and best practices for cyclists in Los Angeles.