One way to avoid the rat race that are congested highways and take advantage of the great outdoors is to bike to work, rather than drive. However, even in places in Connecticut with bike lanes, biking poses certain risks. Of course, there is always the risk that a careless, distracted or drunk driver could strike a bicyclist, causing catastrophic injuries. However, even parked cars pose a danger to bicyclists due to “dooring.”
What is dooring?
Dooring takes place when a motorist parked on the side of the road opens their door, causing the bicyclist to run into it. In some areas of the country, doorings are one of the top three causes of accidents between bicycles and automobiles. Many states have dooring laws, in which motorists cannot leave their car door open longer than necessary or open their car door without caution.
Can dooring be prevented?
One way to prevent dooring accidents is for motorists to practice the “Dutch Reach” when opening doors. This means, for drivers, reaching over and using your right hand to open your car door or, for passengers, reaching over and opening your door with your left hand. This forces the motorist or passenger to look behind them, which, in turn, makes it easier to see bicyclists traveling near them.
Focus on recovery following a dooring accident
Unfortunately, while commuting to work by bike provides bicyclists with exercise, fresh air and other benefits, most motorists aren’t familiar with the “Dutch Reach,” and will open their car doors into traffic, causing bicycle accidents. When a bicyclist is injured in these types of collisions, they often need to seek legal assistance to fight for the compensation they are entitled to. Attorneys can take care of the legal details, so the injured bicyclist can focus on their recovery and returning to their normal lives.