Why dooring incidents can be more serious than people realize

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | bicycle accidents

When people talk about dangerous bicycling incidents, the focus is often on collisions. Cyclists have to share the road with drivers in many areas without designated bike lanes, but they accept most of the risk should a crash occur.

If someone in a motor vehicle strikes a bicycle, the cyclist could easily suffer debilitating injuries in that incident. Even when cyclists wear the best safety gear and carefully follow all traffic laws, they can end up hurt by the actions of others.

Those operating motor vehicles often fail to properly watch for cyclists in traffic and cause preventable collisions through negligent behavior. However, a vehicle does not need to be in motion for an occupant’s negligence to lead to a cyclist’s injuries.

Dooring incidents occur frequently in Colorado

Despite the prevalence of cyclists in traffic in Fort Collins and across the state, drivers often do not keep cyclist safety in mind. Dooring incidents where people open vehicle doors into traffic and injured cyclists are more common than people realize and can often be more serious than someone might anticipate.

Why are dooring incidents such a concern?

A cyclist often has very little other than potentially a helmet protecting them in the event of a crash. When they collide at a high speed with the door of a stationary vehicle, the trauma to their bodies can break bones and cause brain injuries. Those injuries on their own are cause for concern. However, the momentum that a cyclist has might sometimes lead to them flying out into traffic as part of a dooring incident. They could end up injured by another vehicle and may suffer even worse injuries.

Vehicle occupants should check traffic carefully

The law in Colorado is quite clear. Those in motor vehicles stopped on the street need to use caution when opening their doors. Checking for not just for oncoming cars but also bicycles is necessary for safety.

Those who cause dooring incidents may be liable for the injuries and property damage losses generated by an injurious incident. Filing an insurance claim does not always lead to adequate compensation after a bicycling collision in Colorado. Cyclists with significant injuries may need to pursue personal injury lawsuits to fully recover their losses.

Please download our book at www.vanmeverenlaw.com, Your Guide To Road Cycling Safety In Colorado, for more information on Colorado’s “Dooring” law for a better understanding of your rights along with helpful steps to protect yourself in the event of an unfortunate bicycling incident.