Thursday, October 06, 2005

Getting 'Doored'

I don't know about you but I don't like getting 'doored'!
In other words cycling along in traffic and suddenly a car door opens in front of you and you smack into it. Not a very pleasant experience for the cyclist or for the car passenger / driver. And it can damage your bike and possibly the car door. If you take rapid avoiding action you can run into other problems like hitting someone else or some other vehicle or wall. Mind you if you have time to do that you probably have time enough to jam on the brakes and avoid the collision.

What can be done about it? Obviously you can travel far enough out from parked cars so that you have clearance. But when you have traffic on the other side you have to be careful of that too. The worst case is when you're travelling between parked cars and stationary traffic. Usually the space is quite tight. This is the time to be extremely careful. At least if traffic is moving passengers are less likely to jump out. It's when traffic is at a standstill that the risk is high. There's a huge temptation for a passenger to say "Sure, I'll just jump out here and walk. It'll be faster!" So in these situations I try to imagine that every single car is just about to open it's door! Not easy when you're just enjoying the breeze on your face travelling through backed up traffic on a fine sunny day!

Anyone have any 'dooring' experiences?



Blogger adam said...

Excellent article!


5:31 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I thought it was usually better to pass stationary traffic on the right for several reasons 1. drivers expect to be passed on their right so are more likely to be using the right wing mirror then the left. 2. the driver is less likely to get out and walk and 3. You have more room to manoeuvre.
Obviously you have to rejoin the the traffic stream once it starts moving and you don't want to be left stranded in the middle of the road. Making eye contact with the driver behind and being assertive with your signal should mean you are let in first time.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Monique said...

i find taxi drivers and people getting out of taxis to be the worst. SO I use extra caution when I see a taxi pull up in front of me.

11:53 AM  
Blogger DaithiG said...

In one way it made me cop on and start wearing a helmet, but about 3 years ago in Ballincollig, a squad car over took me and pulled in a few meters ahead outside the SuperValue in the town centre, the Guarda then opened the door without checking his mirror and I went straight into it, slightly buckling the front wheel, but also testing the door hinge to its limit, the Guard then started to glare at me like I was in the wrong, I told him in no uncertain terms that what he had done was very dangerous and he would have been responsible, he, then realising that he was wrong, asked me where my helmet was, I was unsure of the law in this case, so I just turned my bike around and cycled on to work, I still bump into the same Guard around Ballincollig and tap my helmet and give him a wink - the man has no sense of humour.

2:50 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

This article may be of some interest to you. A motorist was charged in New Zealand with causing the death of a cyclist when he opened his cardoor without looking. It is unfortunate that it takes tragic incidents such as these to bring attention to the issue.

10:09 AM  
Blogger frank said...

that guard was in the wrong as far as i can see. their is no leagal requirement on cyclists to wear helmets so it was none of his business really.

11:30 AM  

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