Bike and motorcycle riders are at a unique risk on the road. While they should be afforded the same rights as other vehicles on the road, they are far too often overlooked by other drivers. Furthermore, the size of bikes and motorcycles can make them difficult to see and their space is frequently invaded by larger vehicles. Riders of bikes and motorcycles also lack the protections afforded to enclosed vehicles that have seatbelts and airbags and a protective structure that can absorb much of the impact in the event of an accident. This is why bicyclists and motorcyclists can easily sustain devastating injuries in the event of a crash.
When thinking of a bike or motorcycle accident, you may think of a vehicle changing lanes into the bike or motorcycle. You may think of inclement weather conditions or roads in disrepair causing an accident. Did you know that one of the most common types of bike and motorcycle accidents is when a door is opened directly into the path of a rider and an accident occurs as a result? It’s true. In fact, this type of accident has even earned the specific name “dooring” for easy reference because it occurs so often.
Car Door Bike and Motorcycle Accidents
Have you heard of the door zone? It is the area that is 2 to 4 feet adjacent to either a parallel parked, double-parked, or stopped car. When a motorcyclist or bicyclist enters the door zone, there is the risk of the door opening into the path of travel and impact results. The force of impact alone can be enough to lead to substantial injuries. Furthermore, the force of impact can also result in the ride being thrown from the bike. Sometimes, a rider may try to swerve to avoid the door and can skid on the roadway as a result and still make an impact with the car door. The injuries can be serious and extensive.
Some common injuries that can result from dooring accidents include:
Most commonly, doorings occur for the simple and easily preventable fact that drivers are not paying attention. They open doors without effectively checking for oncoming bikes and motorcycles. Drivers may be in a hurry, particularly in inclement weather which also makes it more difficult to see oncoming bikes. Drivers may be distracted by phones or gathering up what they need prior to exiting the vehicle.
Under California law, a person existing a vehicle on the traffic side carries the responsibility of doing so safely and without interfering with the flow of traffic. Individuals exiting a vehicle on the side available to traffic must do so safely and must only keep the door open for the time necessary to quickly and safely exit the vehicle. Because the person exiting the vehicle has these responsibilities under California law, it is most often this person who will be held liable in the event that a dooring occurs.
Personal Injury Attorneys
Have you been injured in a dooring accident? Talk to the trusted personal injury attorneys at Compass Law Group about how you can recover full and fair monetary compensation for your injuries. Contact us today.