Bicyclist’s Guide to Preventing Dooring Accidents in PA

One minute you are enjoying riding your bike, the next you are staring at the sky and wondering where all the pain came from. You’ve been “doored”. Here is A Bicyclist’s Guide to Preventing Dooring Accidents.

bike accidents paWhat is a “dooring” accident?

In Philadelphia, bikers worry about sharing the road with larger, faster vehicles. They know that they are at risk of being injured by a driver who is speeding or distracted. But, many bicyclists don’t realize that parked vehicles can also be a danger.

Car door or “dooring” accidents happen when a driver or passenger opens a car door directly into a biker’s lane of travel.  The biker can’t anticipate the door opening. He has no time to get out of the way.

Running into a door may not a big deal, but Pennsylvania “dooring” accidents cause very serious injuries and even death, especially if the bicyclist is thrown off his bike and into traffic.

Bicycle “dooring” can happen anywhere.  However, “dooring” accidents are most likely to occur on narrow city streets where vehicles park along the sidewalks. If you are an urban bike rider, these tips can help you prevent dooring accidents.

Prevent Philadelphia “Dooring” Accidents

  1. Never assume that a parked car is safe. Watch for occupied vehicles, especially vehicles that have recently parked. Be aware that any person inside a parked vehicle may open a door into your lane of traffic.
  2. Avoid the “Door Zone”. The “Door Zone” extends three to four feet to the side of a parked vehicle. When riding near parked cars, try to stay on the left side of your lane. This will keep you out of the “Door Zone”.
  3. Wear your helmet. “Dooring” accidents can cause serious head injuries. Although a helmet can’t prevent every head injury, it can reduce the severity of the impact.
  4. Pay attention. Drivers aren’t the only people who can be distracted. A distracted biker is more likely to “doored” than a biker who is scanning both sides of his lane.
  5. Avoid routes with heavy traffic. Use bike trails when possible. If there a bike trail isn’t available, choose the route with lighter traffic and fewer parked cars.

Following traffic laws will reduce your risk of a Philadelphia “dooring’’ accident. However, drivers must also watch for bicyclists and use care when opening doors into a traffic lane.

If you have been seriously injured in a Philadelphia “dooring” accident, we urge you to call Petrelli Law. You may be eligible for compensation for your past and future medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, and more. Call (215) 309-4034 to schedule your free consultation.