Rolling Meadows personal injury attorneyBicyclists understand that they are at risk of injury when riding near vehicles. However, drivers are responsible for sharing the road safely with bicycles and taking the proper measures to avoid bicycle accidents. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to live up to this responsibility. If drivers do not notice bicycles near their vehicle, or if they act unsafely when bicycles are on the road, they can cause serious injuries to bicyclists. One way people in vehicles can injure bicycles is through “dooring.”

What Is Dooring?

When drivers park on the side of a busy road, they will likely be aware of other vehicles, and they will be looking to protect their own safety when they open their doors and exit their vehicle. However, drivers and passengers often fail to look for bicycles in these situations, including those who are traveling in bike lanes or who are riding in a lane of traffic near parked vehicles. If a person in a vehicle opens their door without checking for bicycles, they may block a bicyclist’s path or strike a bicycle.

In many cases, dooring will cause a cyclist to fall from their bike. A bicyclist who cannot stop before colliding with a car door in their path may be sent flying over their handlebars. This can cause multiple types of injuries when a cyclist collides with a door and lands on the ground. These may include serious cuts and bruises, broken bones, dislocated joints such as shoulders or wrists, injuries to the spinal cord and the vertebrae in the neck or back, or traumatic brain injuries, which may occur even if a person is wearing a helmet.

A cyclist may suffer similar injuries if a car’s door strikes them from the side while they are traveling past the vehicle or if they are forced to swerve around an open door. However, these cases can be even more serious since they may involve the cyclist being thrown into the path of traffic. If dooring causes a cyclist to be struck or run over by a moving vehicle, they may suffer catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.

To address the issue of dooring, the state of Illinois and different cities have implemented laws requiring drivers to look around their vehicles before opening their doors. In the City of Chicago, drivers may face a fine of up to $1,000 if they strike a bicycle with their car door. The State of Illinois has also updated its rules of the road to advise drivers and passengers to use the “Dutch reach” method when opening doors, in which they open a door with the opposite hand, forcing them to turn their body into a position where they will be able to see bicycles approaching from behind.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Bicycle Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident caused by dooring, Newland & Newland, LLP can help you take legal action to recover compensation from the person who was responsible. Contact our Palatine bike accident lawyers at 847-797-8000 to arrange a free consultation.


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