Cyclists often have more to worry about when they hit the road than almost anyone else. Their vehicles have the least amount of protection and leave the most room for potential injuries.
Dooring is one source of these injuries. But just what is it and how does it affect cyclists?
Sources of injuries
Momentum Mag looks into the cyclist-specific crash called dooring. Dooring occurs when someone in a parked vehicle opens their car door directly into the path of a cyclist, not giving the cyclist enough time to properly come to a stop. It usually leads to the cyclist hitting the door, or swerving – potentially into traffic – to avoid hitting it.
Injuries come from those two sources, too. If a cyclist hits the door, they may sometimes sail over the top. This can result in impact injuries, friction burns, and even damage to the head or spine. Of course, the severity of the damage depends on factors like how fast the cyclist was riding, how hard they hit the car door and how far they flew because of the impact.
The risk of oncoming traffic
However, injuries can also come from a cyclist swerving or getting knocked into the road. Unfortunately, this can happen so fast that cars in the area simply do not have the time to react and safely avoid hitting the fallen cyclist. This can result in severe injuries like broken bones, lacerations, crush injuries and even fatal injuries.
This is why it is so important for everyone to understand the risk of dooring. Cyclists should avoid hugging cars and drivers should always check before opening their doors.