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Staying safe and avoiding dooring while cycling in the city

Bustling cities in New York often mean crowded roadways and traffic jams. One way that many commuters avoid being stuck in traffic is by biking. Though protected bike paths can make commuting safer, there are still precautions that cyclists need to take. One of these is avoiding dooring.

What is dooring?

Dooring occurs when an occupant of a vehicle opens its door in front of the path of a cyclist. It’s a common cause of serious injuries. Both vehicle occupants and cyclists are responsible to prevent these types of bicycle accidents from occurring.

How to avoid dooring while riding in the city

A cyclist must be constantly aware of vehicles and other road users to stay safe. Dooring can be prevented by:

• Riding several feet away from cars, outside of the door zone
• Never riding next to parked cars
• Staying to the far left in non-designated bike lanes
• Looking for streets with “share the road” arrows, which allow cyclists to ride in the middle of the road

Drivers can avoid hitting a cyclist by looking behind them before opening their vehicle door. Doors should be slowly opened and quickly closed to avoid injuring any cyclists who are approaching the vehicle.

Getting help after a dooring injury

If you are injured by a car door while riding, you need to seek help as soon as possible. First, call the police and ask the car driver to stay until the police arrive. If a driver leaves quickly or refuses to stay, write down their license plate number and vehicle description. Look around for any witnesses and ask them to stay to offer their point of view for the police incident report. After the police arrive, go to the hospital to get medical treatment.

A claim can then be filed with the driver’s insurance company. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help should the insurance company not be willing to pay for your medical needs.