When cyclists and drivers have to interact on the road, it can often end up poorly for the cyclists. Even a parked car could potentially cause trouble for bicycles.
Dooring – a phenomenon that involves a driver opening their door into the path of a cyclist – serves as one potential way that immobile cars may still pose an issue.
We Love Cycling discusses the dangers unique to dooring. First, cyclists have no way of predicting when dooring may occur. Generally speaking, safety experts suggest cyclists keep a distance of at least a door’s length between his or herself and any parked cars.
But this is not always possible, especially in parts of the road where bike lanes end up sandwiched between the road itself and any parking spaces for cars.
In these situations, drivers of the cars can do a lot more to help prevent dooring than cyclists. First, they can park as far as possible from the bike lanes, and certainly avoid parking in the bike lane itself.
Next, drivers should always look before opening their doors. Many people reflexively open the door and step out as soon as they park the car, but one never knows when a cyclist may approach.
The dangers of dooring
Unfortunately, dooring can actually cause serious injury to the cyclist. Victims of dooring can end up flying over the top of the car door, leading to bruising, broken bones or head injuries. Some even get pushed into traffic, where cars may not have time to avoid hitting them.
This is why it is crucial for all drivers to maintain awareness of the cyclists sharing the road with them and do everything possible to keep them safe.