When most people think of car accidents, their minds immediately go to high-speed collisions, often resulting from risky driving behaviors. However, accidents can vary significantly in their cause and the types of vehicles involved. One frequently overlooked yet hazardous situation is opening a car door. This seemingly simple action could pose serious risks not just to car drivers but to truck drivers and bicyclists as well.
Mindlessly opening a car door poses serious risks to drivers and cyclists. One danger they could encounter is dooring accidents. A “dooring” accident happens when someone opens a vehicle’s door into the path of oncoming traffic, typically without checking for approaching vehicles or cyclists first. This can result in a collision, often causing severe injury, especially to cyclists or motorcyclists who may not have time to react and avoid the suddenly opened door.
More at risk of a collision
Oncoming drivers, cyclists or motorcyclists may not have enough time to react to an unexpectedly opened door. This leaves them susceptible to crashing into the door, tumbling down the road or even being thrown off their vehicle. All of these scenarios could result in severe injuries or even fatalities. Particularly vulnerable are cyclists and motorcyclists who, unlike car drivers, lack the protection of a vehicle to buffer the impact.
A dooring accident could create a ripple effect. Other drivers on the road may need to swerve or brake suddenly to avoid the initial collision, potentially leading to additional casualties. Under California law, no one should open a car door on the side of flowing traffic unless it’s reasonably safe to do so. For cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers, being aware and cautious is crucial. Anyone violating this door-opening rule could risk endangering others and face legal consequences.