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Georgia Personal Injury Blog

Monday, May 8, 2017

Dooring Accidents

Dooring is not a widely used term. But it is just what it sounds like: a traffic accident in which a cyclist is struck by a car door being opened by the occupant of a parked car. It is a common danger, and has great potential to cause a serious injury.

Bike lanes are becoming more visible throughout Stockbridge, McDonough, and Eagles Landing areas. As Henry County quickly grows and more and more bike lanes are being added, it is imperative that motorists continue to watch out for cyclists in an effort to prevent a dooring accident.

Dooring has caused 19.7% of all bicycle crashes, but drivers and cyclists can lower this number by becoming more aware when on the road.

Georgia law 40-6-243 states, "No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers." In fact, bicycles are considered “vehicles” for legal purposes in Georgia, meaning that the general rules of vehicular traffic apply to bikes just as it does for as motor vehicles. This includes driving on the right side of the road, stopping at stop signs and stop lights, and using forward and rearward illumination at night.

If you are a driver, it is important that you check for cyclists before opening your car or truck door. Looking behind you and checking your mirrors is the safest way to do this. As for cyclists, there are several ways to practice bicycle safety and prevent a dooring accident.

·         Stay further away from parked cars. Experts recommend staying at least one meter away from a parked car.

·         Avoid streets with a lot of parked cars, if possible.

·         Use bike lanes when possible

·         Take the “quiet” route, avoiding cars.

·         Always use lights, during day and nighttime biking

When a driver or passenger opens their door into the bike lane there is usually very little time for cyclists to react. Cyclists can try to brake or swerve, but this can be difficult when traffic is heavy; it can be nearly impossible if the biker is already in close proximity to the vehicle door.

Data released for the year 2012 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 49,000 bicyclists were injured and 726 were killed in traffic crashes. In Georgia alone, there are almost 700 bicycle-motor vehicle collisions each year. As gas prices continue to steadily increase, and bike lanes become more available around our area, more people are choosing to ride bikes for their everyday commute.

Follow the law, and stay alert.  Avoid finding yourself in the situation of dooring someone or being doored!

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident that required medical attention and you need help with your claim, contact John Webb today for a free consultation at jwebb@smithwelchlaw.com  or call 770-389-4864.

Smith, Welch, Webb & White, LLC., is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia with expertise in this area of law. We have an uncompromising commitment to serving our clients and community. Our team of experts routinely handle a wide range of legal matters beyond criminal law, and will be happy to provide outstanding service for you, your family, or your business.

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

 


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