Dooring refers to an accident wherein a vehicle door is suddenly opened into the path of an oncoming cyclist. This unexpected event leaves the cyclist little time to react, potentially leading to severe injuries. As the popularity of cycling continues to rise, particularly in urban settings, understanding dooring and implementing measures to prevent it becomes increasingly crucial.
Cramped streets with bustling traffic and narrow cycling lanes are often hotspots for dooring incidents. Because all road users share the responsibility for safety, everyone must be educated about dooring and the steps that can be taken to prevent it so innocent cyclists aren’t put at risk of serious injuries unnecessarily.
The Dutch Reach: A simple solution to a complex problem
The ‘Dutch Reach‘ is a safety technique that originated in the Netherlands, known for its extensive use of bicycles as a primary means of transportation. This practice offers a straightforward yet effective solution to prevent dooring accidents that can injure or kill cyclists.
Rather than opening a car door with the hand closest to it, the Dutch Reach method instructs individuals to use the hand furthest from it. This action causes the body to swivel, encouraging a glance over the shoulder and allowing a motorist to spot approaching cyclists before fully opening their door.
Potential injuries from dooring and the importance of prevention
The abrupt nature of dooring accidents can result in a range of damages for cyclists, ranging from minor to severe. These can include bruises and fractures, head and spinal injuries or even more severe harm if a cyclist is knocked into the path of moving traffic. Given these potential risks, preventative measures become all the more crucial.
A cyclist who’s the victim of dooring will likely require urgent medical attention. They’ll likely have significant injuries, which could lead to them being unable to work while they heal. These victims may opt to pursue a claim for compensation to help cover financial damages stemming from their crash. State law limits their time to make this effort, so seeking compensation quickly is critical.