Drivers have a duty to prevent cyclist dooring injuries

By Steven Miller
Senior Partner

If you regularly ride a bicycle, you have undoubtedly experienced at least one near-miss dooring incident. Dooring happens when the driver or passenger of a parked vehicle opens his or her door, causing a collision with a passing cyclist. 

Unfortunately, dooring accidents often leave bicycle riders with serious and life-altering injuries. These accidents do not have to occur, however. Both drivers and passengers can protect bikers with just a bit of care. 

Look twice before opening the door

The most important thing any driver or passenger can do to stop dooring is to look twice before opening the door. The first look should occur before pulling on the door’s handle. The second look happens immediately before pushing the door outward. 

Employ the far-hand reach method

Remembering to look twice before opening a car door can be tough. After all, drivers and passengers may have other matters on their minds. 

The Dutch far-hand reach method aims to force individuals to look over their shoulders. With this method, a person uses his or her far hand to open the door. This motion causes the torso to turn naturally, offering a better view of at-risk riders. 

Notify passengers of approaching cyclists

While drivers may understand the importance of looking at approaching traffic before opening the door, passengers may not identify the risk. This is especially true if a driver transports young passengers. 

Accordingly, if a driver or anyone else sees an approaching cyclist, he or she should alert all passengers on the cyclist’s side of the car. Along with employing a couple other strategies, this notification may save a life. 

About the Author
Steven Miller, Esq. is the founding member and Senior Partner in Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. Mr. Miller’s extensive career as a trial attorney spans five decades. He tries cases for the catastrophically injured victims of construction site accidents, motor vehicle and premises accidents caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Miller is a detail oriented, tenacious attorney committed to achieving the maximum results for his clients; he has obtained numerous seven figure verdicts and settlements.