Cycling is one of the most popular forms of exercise and means of commuting in Aurora and throughout Colorado. While most bicycle trips occur without any problem, sometimes riding a bike can be extremely dangerous. While cyclists are usually on the lookout for aggressive drivers, speeding vehicles, or unsafe spots for traffic, one thing that can be a surprise threat is the bicycle door zone.
This is a dangerous spot for cyclists to be. If you’ve been the victim of a door zone accident, you may file a claim to hold the driver responsible.
What is the bicycle door zone?
The bicycle door zone is the area between a parallel parked car on the right shoulder of the road, and the area of the road where a cyclist is riding. If the driver in the vehicle – or a passenger sitting in the backseat – opens the car door, the cyclist can strike it.
Sometimes, bike lanes are designed within the door zone, meaning that there is very little space between the parked cars and the cyclist. A cyclist who is riding in the door zone is at risk for sustaining an injury in an accident.
What are the dangers of the bicycle door zone?
When a car opens its door in front of an oncoming cyclist, the cyclist is instantaneously faced with an increased risk of having an accident or sustaining an injury. The cyclist may swerve to avoid the door, hit the door, or fall off the bike to avoid hitting the door.
If the cyclist swerves to avoid the door, he or she may enter traffic and become involved in an accident with another vehicle. If the cyclist hits the door, he or she may be thrown from the bike or otherwise suffer injuries from impact with the door. If the cyclist falls off the bike while trying to avoid the door, he or she may suffer severe injuries after impacting the pavement.
Cyclists involved in door zone accident may suffer the following injuries.
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Traumatic brain injuries
Avoiding Bicycle Door Zone Accidents in Aurora
For cyclists, avoiding the door zone can be tricky, especially when adequately designed bike lanes aren’t available. However, both drivers and cyclists should always pay attention to their surroundings, and cyclists should pay attention to what’s happening up ahead.
Drivers should look for bikes when opening the car door in areas where bicyclists may be riding, including on the street. Furthermore, cycling more carefully and slowly in high traffic areas is advised. Of course, cyclists should never leave home on a bike without wearing a helmet.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Bicycle Door Zone Accident in Aurora
If you’re a cyclist who was injured in an accident in Aurora, or if you lost a loved one in an accident involving a motor vehicle, you can file a claim against a negligent party responsible for the accident. This may include a driver who swings her door open in your path as you were cycling along the side of the street.
A personal injury attorney can guide you or family members of a seriously injured or deceased person through the rights that accident victims and their survivors hold,.
- Recovering damages for pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills
Your attorney can also collect evidence such as eyewitness testimony, and can present your insurance claim or lawsuit if necessary.
At the Law Office of D.J. Banovitz, we’re ready to take on your case. To get started on filing your bicycle accident injury claim, call us today at 303-300-5060.