Any veteran cyclist can tell you, there are few things as scary as a long line of parallel parked cars. It’s like the most terrifying game of duck, duck, goose you’ll ever play. An opening car door can be seriously painful, or worse, push or scare you into the path of moving vehicles; ouch. So, we’ve got some bike safety tips to help save you from being hit by an opening car door while riding a bike.
How to Avoid Getting Doored
- Be Vigilant – The first, and most obvious, tip we can give you is to be very aware that you’re approaching a minefield. When you come up on a row of parked cars, turn your Spidey senses up to max. Try to look out for people still in their cars, and be ready to stop.
- Don’t Swerve – It’s very important that you stop, NOT SWERVE. If a door opens in front of you, do your best to stop before hitting it, but DO NOT SWERVE. Did you get that? No swerving. Door number one is probably much better than the moving truck you might pass in front of if you turn.
- Skip the Bike Lane – California bicycle law does not require you to stay in the bicycle lane. You are allowed to ride in the full lane. Sometimes, such as when you’re traveling alongside a long row of sadistic Jack-in-the-boxes, it’s safer to ditch the bike lanes.
Dooring is actually illegal in California, and drivers who are not careful about opening car doors could be ticketed. If you’re hit by an opening car door, call the police. If you want to make long-term changes to help prevent these types of bike accidents, advocate for more dedicated bike lanes and sharrows in your area. With enough voices, we may be able to convince local governments to start taking bicycle safety more seriously.
San Diego bicycle accident attorney Frederick M. Dudek is an avid cyclist himself, and regularly rides his own bike to work. He understands what cyclists face every day, and is therefore better equipped to help his fellow riders after they’ve been injured in a bicycle accident.