Did you know that something as simple as opening your car door can cause serious bodily injury to a cyclist? Let me explain.
In many places, slow moving vehicles are required to travel near the right side of the road to allow faster moving vehicles to pass. Naturally, cyclists ride near the shoulder since they are nearly always traveling slower than automobiles. Here’s where your car door comes in. See, if you’re parallel parked and open your door to exit the vehicle, you may be opening your door into the path of an overtaking cyclist. As you can imagine, a cyclist traveling at 10-20 mph who collides with a stationary car door is likely to get seriously injured, as well as do serious damage to the car.
Here’s a simple thing you can do. Before you exit your vehicle, take a moment to check your side view mirror to be sure there are no cyclists coming up from behind. Doing so may prevent someone from getting hurt, and save you a trip to the body shop.
Thanks from all of us bike riders, some of whom may be your friends, neighbors, or loved ones.
Note: Most experienced cyclists know to move out into the traffic lane away from parked cars to avoid getting “doored”, but inexperienced riders—particularly children—may not be aware of the potential danger.