Dooring Accidents: How They Affect Cyclists and Motorcycle Riders

Dooring accidents are a type of bicycle and motorcycle accident that occurs when a car driver opens their door into the path of a cyclist or motorcyclist. These accidents can be very serious and can result in serious injuries or even death.

In 2020, there were over 50,000 dooring accidents reported in the United States. Of these accidents, over 2,000 resulted in serious injuries or death.

Dooring accidents are especially dangerous for cyclists and motorcyclists because they are often unexpected and give the cyclist or motorcyclist very little time to react. When a cyclist or motorcyclist is hit by a car door, they can be thrown from their bike or motorcycle and onto the road, where they can be hit by other cars.

Dooring cases go beyond mere “accidents.” They can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. According to data from the League of American Bicyclists, 8% of all urban crashes involving a cyclist were due to dooring incidents.

When motorcyclists are involved, the percentage can be equally concerning. The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that about 20% of all accidents involving motorcycles occur due to sudden obstacles, which include dooring incidents.

The Injuries Involved

Dooring can lead to a variety of injuries ranging from minor scrapes to critical conditions. Here are some common injuries associated with dooring:

  • Bruises and scrapes
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Concussions
  • Spinal injuries
  • Death in severe cases

Legal Implications and Remedies

Not many people realize that dooring is not just an “accident,” but can be a serious violation. In New York, Vehicle and Traffic Law 1214 explicitly states that “No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic…until it is reasonably safe to do so.”

Therefore, if you are a victim, seeking the counsel of a personal injury lawyer Westchester, NY becomes crucial. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress.

Insurance Can Be a Maze

Navigating insurance claims for dooring incidents is often complex. Insurance companies may try to reduce their liability by labeling the cyclist or motorcyclist as “at fault.” This is where an experienced legal guidance from a white plains personal injury lawyer, Glen A. Kurtis, P.C., can help ensure that you receive the justice you deserve.

What Can Cyclists and Motorcycle Riders Do to Protect Themselves from Dooring Accidents?

There are a few things that cyclists and motorcycle riders can do to protect themselves from dooring accidents:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared for the possibility of a car door opening into your path.
  • Ride in the center of the lane, away from parked cars.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before passing them.
  • Use hand signals to indicate your intentions to drivers.
  • Wear a helmet and other protective gear.

What Can Drivers Do to Prevent Dooring Accidents?

Drivers can also help to prevent dooring accidents by:

  • Checking for cyclists and motorcyclists before opening their door.
  • Opening their door slowly and carefully.
  • Using the “Dutch reach” method to open their door: Open the door with your right hand, which forces you to turn your body towards the door. This helps you to see cyclists and motorcyclists approaching from behind.

Don’t Hesitate, Act Now

The impact of dooring accidents is not just physical; it has legal and emotional dimensions as well. If you or a loved one has been a victim, remember that legal avenues are available to seek justice and compensation. At Glen A. Kurtis, P.C. we advocate for your right to safely traverse the roads whether on two wheels or four.

Don’t let the negligence of others put a dent in your life. Reach out to us for a comprehensive consultation to discuss the specifics of your case and determine the best course of action for you. With us, your journey to justice is not a solitary ride.

If you’ve been involved in a dooring accident or know someone who has, don’t hesitate. Act now by contacting us for a consultation. Let Glen A. Kurtis, P.C., be your guide through the complex legal landscape.

Contact Glen A. Kurtis, P.C. today for a consultation.