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You were riding close to the parked cars on the right side of the road. Without warning, a car door is flung open right into your path. You have no time to react. You hit the door full force and go flying through the air into traffic.

Getting doored while bike riding sucks. Big time.

I know. It happened to me.

I know others it happened to.

It's frustrating. It's aggravating. It's careless and preventable.

Careless on the part of the driver who failed to look behind them as they threw open their door.

Preventable since all it took was a backwards glance, or an over the shoulder glance or a look in your side view mirror.

Here's what happens when a bicylclist is riding in the street.

They have two options:

  1. Ride as close as possible to the parked cars on the right side of the street, or
  2. Move into the moving lane of travel in order to have at least 2-3 feet of separation between car doors that open and the middle of the street.

The risks are many when riding close to parked cars. The biggest is that a driver pulls out into the moving traffic without looking behind them first, cutting off the bicyclist. The next biggest risk is getting doored.

The risk of riding in the middle of the lane of moving traffic is that you are now disrupting the flow of car traffic. Many bicycle advocates suggest this is the better option rather than riding close to parked cars. The big risk is that cars riding behind you may not see you. They may not recognize that you are taking up part of the lane until it's too late.

A motorist may get frustrated driving behind a bike rider who has taken over his lane of traffic. He may try to pass the bicyclist in an effort to go around. Depending on the road and width of the street, this may prove extremely dangerous for the bike rider.

As an avid bicyclist I see careless drivers all the time. The best you can do as a bike rider is to make yourself as visible as possible with blinkers, lights, reflectors and bright clothing. Then, using your best judgment of the road conditions, be as safe as possible when riding in the road.

What bike do I ride?

A Trek Madone road bike, carbon fiber. It's a great bike.

Any questions about your bike accident?

Give me a call. I handle cases like yours every day. Being a bike rider I get it. I know it and I've been there. I'll see if I can help.

Call me at 516-487-8207 or by email: [email protected] I welcome your call.


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer