One of the dangers cyclists face on a daily basis is being doored. This is when a motorist opens a vehicle door causing a cyclist to collide with the door. With a little foresight and planning, this is an avoidable accident.
In the UK, approximately 600 cyclists are injured each year by being doored. Cyclists have been severely injured and a number of them even killed by being doored. Dooring is covered by Section 105 Road Vehicles Regulation 1986 which states that: “No person shall open, or cause or permit to be opened, any door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger any person.”
How to Avoid Being Doored
In level two of bikeability we cover the section on overtaking stationary vehicles. This section covers several aspects a cyclist must take into account before overtaking a parked vehicle.
- Before any maneuver check for traffic from the rear.
- If clear, move towards the centre of the road where you can see oncoming traffic
- Oncoming traffic always have priority, if there’s oncoming traffic; stop! Cyclists should stop on their side of the road in direct line of sight with the driver’s door mirror
- Only once the road is clear ahead check for traffic coming from the back and then go past the stationary vehicle.
- Stationary vehicles should be overtaken by allowing PLENTY of space just in case a door is opened. This is called “a door and a bit more”. Doors take up a lot more space than most people think hence why you should allow “a bit more”. To get an idea, next time you are parked, open the car door in full and you will see how much space a fully open car door takes up!
- As you pass the vehicle cyclists should try and make eye contact with the driver just to make sure the driver has seen you.
- Return to normal riding line after a quick inside shoulder check (see diagram on the right).
The solution to avoid being doored is to allow a door and a little bit more when passing a stationary vehicle.