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Were you in a “dooring” accident while biking? What is it?

As spring settles in and the chill of winter fades, more Iowa residents are spending time outdoors. While gardening and sports may occupy the plans of some, others may look forward to getting on their bicycles and heading out for long, peaceful rides. Unfortunately, bike accidents can happen and often occur when drivers fail to act reasonably while behind the wheels of their cars.

What is “dooring”?

One type of bike accident that is caused by drivers is dooring. Dooring happens when a driver or backseat passenger opens their door right as a biker is going by. Since there is no time to get out of the way,  the cyclist collides with the door.

While the experience of individuals are often very different, bike accidents can cause serious and debilitating injuries. When cars are involved, bike riders can suffer head injuries, broken bones or even death. Although cyclists are usually quite vigilant while riding, drivers should take proactive steps to prevent avoidable accidents with bicyclists.

Can the “Dutch reach” prevent dooring?

To prevent dooring, drivers and their passengers can practice the Dutch reach. The Dutch reach involves using one’s inside hand to open their door. For a driver, this would mean using their right hand, reaching across their body and opening their door with it. Opening a car door this way makes a driver look over their left shoulder and see if any other cars or bikes are coming into their path.

Any bike accident can result in painful and permanent injuries. When someone else is at fault, the biker may be entitled to compensation for their losses including medical expenses and lost earnings.

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