Riding a bicycle involves inherent risks, and your injury and fatality risks are even higher when you are a cyclist who regularly rides in urban areas, as opposed to more rural ones. While The sheer number of drivers in urban areas makes you more at risk of a bike crash, you also face other hazards when biking in urban areas, including the risk of becoming a victim of dooring.
What is dooring, and how does it pose a threat to you and other cyclists? According to Cycling Savvy, a program of the American Bicycling Education Association, “dooring” occurs when a motorist opens his or her car door into oncoming bike traffic, striking you and potentially sending you into traffic.
Bike lanes often poorly designed
Dooring occurs when a bike lane exists within close proximity to legal parking areas. At a minimum, communities must have 5-foot bike lanes and 7-foot parking areas, but these dimensions do little to protect you. Research shows, however, that when communities add another three feet of space between bike lanes and parking areas, dooring incidents decline as a result.
Actions to take to enhance safety
Counting on cities and towns to create safe bike lanes is unrealistic, at least for the time being. There are, however, several things you and other cyclists should do to protect yourself while traveling by bike. When possible, avoid riding near parked cars.
If you do need to ride near a parking area and dooring zone, slow down when doing so. If you slow down to walking speed, you may have time to spot an opening door and stop your bike before it strikes you.
Find more about injuries caused by dooring on our webpage.