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#RoadRights Situation 33

Published by Anna Marie on

A cyclists is riding along in a bike lane next to parked cars when a driver exiting their car opens a door into the cyclist traveling.

Play along! Did you guess correctly?

ANSWER: Drivers should always look back over their shoulder before opening their car door to make sure no one is coming.

Hitting someone with a car door, called “dooring”, can cause crashes and can be fatal if the person cycling is thrown into oncoming traffic. Anyone moving along the street, whether cycling, walking or driving, has the right-of-way so the person exiting a parked car ultimately has the responsibility to look for people approaching and wait until they pass before opening their door. People walking or cycling should try and avoid dooring by walking/riding outside the “door-zone,” at least 3 feet away from parked cars. However this can be difficult due to limited space and or traffic speeds. When driving along a road with parked cars drivers should be alert to the people getting out of their cars and give them plenty of room and slow down when passing them. In this situation the cyclist is traveling in a narrow bike lane and needs to merge into the vehicle lane to avoid getting hit by a door. That is safer than having to suddenly exit the bike lane into the other lane where a car may be and cause a crash.