Connecticut bikers are all too familiar with the concept of “dooring.” Getting doored while cycling is a recreational hazard for cyclists of all ages.

But the problem is that for many bikers who get struck by the opening door of a passenger vehicle as they ride by, the injuries can be severe — and sometimes fatal.

Dodging a “dooring”

Cyclists that remain alert and aware of their surroundings can often anticipate and avoid a dooring incident. For instance, if a car a half block ahead of you parallel parks on the street, it is safe to assume that they will soon be emerging from their vehicle. In most instances, you should have enough time to either take evasive action or slow down and wait until they clear your path.Beware of the “door zone”The door zone and its dangers is the approximate five feet of space between the closed vehicle door and the driving lane. If you are riding in this area, whether by necessity or choice, you risk an unwary driver dooring you as you pass.

It is not possible on all occasions to refrain from driving in this space. In fact, many bike lanes are fully within the danger zone. However, maintaining situational awareness at all times as you ride can help you avoid potential cycling dangers like dooring.

Dangers of dooring

The most dangerous part of a dooring incident is often not the initial impact, although that, too, may be significant. But if a cyclist gets catapulted into traffic, they could be run over by traffic and killed.

Even when cyclists wear bicycle helmets, they still run the risk of suffering life-altering traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), fractures and internal injuries from dooring incidents. Typically, dooring victims’ bikes are destroyed, with the frames bent out of shape from the impact(s).

It’s a fortunate cyclist who can ride away from such a dangerous incident with only a few bruises or scrapes. Many injured cyclists face mountains of bills for emergency care, ambulance rides, medical equipment, surgeries, rehab and multiple types of therapies. They could miss weeks or even months of work while they recuperate from their injuries.

If you suffered serious injuries in a cycling accident here in Connecticut, it may be possible to be financially compensated for your losses and other damages.