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The Dangers of Dooring

By Newport Beach Personal Injury Attorney on October 11, 2019

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When you are out biking on the wide-open roads of Orange County, a major hazard that you must look out for is suddenly-opening car doors.

Dooring is a type of traffic collision that involves a bicyclist hitting an open door of a motor vehicle that has been swung into his or her path. Dooring typically occurs when the individual inside of the motor vehicle has failed to check and see if there was oncoming traffic. In the state of California, liability for dooring injuries tends to be placed on the person opening the car door, not on the bicyclist and/or other vehicle.

Individuals riding bikes are the most vulnerable population when it comes to dooring accidents. With bicycles becoming increasingly popular, and urban areas around the country becoming denser, dooring incidents have been steadily increasing over several years.

There are also instances where drivers open their car door while a motorcyclist is legally lane-splitting. This can result in not only injuries to the motorcyclist, but also the driver.

Here at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, we have seen negligent drivers injuring cyclists time and time again by not paying attention when they open the doors of their vehicles. Dooring can leave victims with serious injuries, costly medical bills, a considerable amount of missed work, and maybe even permanent disabilities. Here are some common dangers of getting doored, and ways to best avoid these serious accidents.

Some Potential Repercussions of Getting Doored

Dooring accidents are not typically fatal, but they can lead to serious injuries. If a cyclist hits a door at low speed, the injuries are typically lacerations and bruising, but at higher speeds, injuries can be devastating. Some common injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries (including TBI)
  • Serious nerve damage
  • Internal organ damage
  • Injuries to the spinal cord
  • Death, in rare cases

Can You Take Steps to Avoid Dooring?

While they are not always preventable, there are precautions cyclists can take to decrease their chances of getting doored while riding on the streets of Southern California. Ways to reduce your chances of dooring include:

  • Do your best to keep a safe distance from parked vehicles if it is safe to do so. About three to four feet away is best.
  • Wear a bright helmet and proper safety gear! This can increase your visibility and aid in physical protection if a crash does occur.
  • Avoid distractions like wearing earphones or checking your cell phone while riding your bike.
  • Plan your route ahead of time. If you know a safer route with less traffic, even if it might take longer, consider leaving earlier and taking that route instead.
  • Be mindful of your speed near parked cars.
  • Keep an eye out for parked vehicles with passengers inside.

 Orange County Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a dooring accident, contact the legal team at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie. We have been representing bicycle accident victims for over 40 years and have a record of successfully getting our clients the compensation they deserve. Don’t let the negligence of another person throw a wrench in your life. Call our Newport Beach office at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a consultation.

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Posted in: Bicycle Accidents

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