Bicycle accidents can occur in many different ways. Collisions can happen in intersections, in moving traffic, in stopped traffic, and more. One common type of bicycle accident that can cause severe injuries is often referred to as “dooring.” This type of accident happens when a motorist suddenly opens a car door without watching and a bicyclist cannot stop before crashing into the car door. This type of collision can often lead to catastrophic and possibly permanent injuries for cyclists and may require extensive medical attention.
Bicyclists are expected to ride as far on the right of a road to avoid disrupting the flow of faster traffic whenever possible. This also means, however, that bicyclists are riding next to parked cars on the side of the road. If a driver suddenly flings open their car door in the path of a bicyclist, the cyclist usually has no time to stop or even brake before crashing into the door. Bicyclists who collide with car doors often flip over the door and land on the pavement, which can lead to extremely serious injuries. Bicyclists involved in dooring accidents can suffer the following and much more:
- Traumatic brain injuries1
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Severe road rash
- Deep contusions
- Internal bleeding
Additionally, if the bicyclist hits the door just as it is opening, they can suffer serious wounds from the sharp edge of the door.
Car Door Accidents are Generally the Fault of the Driver
Many drivers believe that it is a bicyclist's fault that they were not watching for car doors that may be opening. However, the large majority of today's cars—especially minivans and SUVs—have tinted windows and other features that prevent someone from seeing that a person is in the parked car. Glare from the sun can also cause difficulty seeing into a parked car.
In addition, Michigan law actually addresses this type of situation. Administrative Rule R28.1498 (1) of the state Uniform Traffic Code2 prohibits a driver from opening their car door into the flow of traffic, which includes bicycles. This means that not only may a car door accident be negligent, but it is also against the law.
An experienced Michigan bicycle accident lawyer can help you recover
Bicycle accidents can cause severe and sometimes catastrophic injuries to bicyclists, who may be affected for the rest of their lives. Drivers who are not paying adequate attention to the road around them—especially to bicyclists—should be held accountable for any injuries that occur. There is no excuse for opening a car door into a bike lane without looking first or to refusing to otherwise safely share the road with bicyclists. If you are a bicyclist who has suffered injury in a collision, do not hesitate to call the Michigan law firm of Michigan Injury Lawyers as soon as possible. We work to stand up for the legal rights of injured accident victims and can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call today at 888-454-0801 for a free consultation.