Anyone had a car door opened on them?

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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby Undertow » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:14 am

Lazyweek wrote:So why do they so often put bike lanes next to where cars park? It just seems so dangerous, especially on downhill sections where you can get a bit of speed.

I "claim my lane" if I intend on going fast downhill, no way in hell would a do 40-60 km/hr within ~1-1.5m of parked cars. If not, I ride slower and keep an eye out. I hope it never happens to me.


Because that's where they fit.
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by BNA » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:58 am

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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby crazyjose » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:58 am

I was riding to work one fine morning riding, my just rebuilt Campy framed road bike to work and loosely following the cars into the gates at work, when all of a sudden a car that i had passed earlier that was now infront of me had the passenger fling open the door in front of me, i was able to stop in time but unable to decleat and promply fell over. The perp just looked at me and proceded to walk off, I still gave him a blasting, even a little red faced. Needless to say i give cars a lot wider berth and ride a mountain bike these days...and loosened off my pedals cleats a little...
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby clydesmcdale » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:49 pm

Lazyweek wrote:So why do they so often put bike lanes next to where cars park? It just seems so dangerous, especially on downhill sections where you can get a bit of speed.

Because traffic engineers don't have an appropriate set of guidelines/standards to follow. Mostly councils just put them in without any science behind it.

I see it as a potential safety in design issue. If someone gets killed or injured because they were doored whilst in a designated bike lane within the door zone, I would expect there would be some grounds for litigation.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby jasonc » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:56 pm

clydesmcdale wrote:I see it as a potential safety in design issue. If someone gets killed or injured because they were doored whilst in a designated bike lane within the door zone, I would expect there would be some grounds for litigation.


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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby Lukeyboy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:49 pm

What about riding with a car going past with its door slightly open?

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Quickly closed when the police car caught up :P
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby lammy » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:38 am

:evil: UNBELEIVEABLE!!! after all these years and this post, it happened this morning on my way into work. DOORED!! ... but escaped. just!

I was riding up a 2-3%incline so not going that fast luckily 23kph ish, on a road with heaps of car sales showrooms etc. There were car parking spaces, 16 inches of road then solid white line (I assume this was the bike ''lane')', then single carriageway. Some dude in his white sedan had been there a while then just opened the door!!!... OMGosh ....swift dangerous manouvere out into the road and just missed him. If I was cycling perhaps another 6 inches closer to the cars I would have clipped is door for sure. I turned around to hurl abuse and he just stood there looking blankly at me not saying a word!! Sign of guilt perhaps. Shook me up bigstyle. So glad I give that miniumum 1m clearance and wrote this post to keep it fresh in my mind!!!

I have to admit though, I and not perfect either and have a car also and am guilty of not looking everytime before I open the door, 90% of the time I do, but its the 10% which makes you into a statistic I suppose, note to myself, must try harder. 8 lives left now.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby Summernight » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:32 am

Yes, Collins Street, Melbourne earlier this year coming up to Swanston Street from Elizabeth in the gutter lanes they like to call bicycle lanes.

The cyclist in front of me about 30 metres ahead gets doored by the front passenger getting out of the stationary black car waiting 4-5 cars from the lights. Since it was low speed no major issues and no fall and he rides off. The elderly lady who doored this cyclist then proceeds to walk off without a care towards Swanston Street. Then as I go past (very slowly) the rear elderly male passenger from the same black car opens his door on me.

I managed to stop in time but my wrist did hit the door although no major damage to anybody and my wrist was fine after an hour or so. Since my quick-thinking abusing skills aren't very good I didn't say anything meaningful before riding off.

I've had a few passengers open their doors from cars stuck in traffic in the Collins Street bicycle lane as well as on the green Albert Street bicycle lane but none have been as close as that time I was actually hit. The passengers are almost worse than the drivers.

I also ride Albert St across Hoddle up to the city and for that section of the road where there isn't the green bicycle lane I mostly ride in the car lane - I don't consider the dotted line they have as an indication of a bicycle lane but more an indication of where the third lane would be if the cars weren't parked in it as it is completely within the door zone.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby ft_critical » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:46 am

Twice, dooring being where you hit the door not some lame-o stop before it action.

First - Filtering traffic stopped at a cross walk outside a station. Riding slowly, concentrating on the parked cars on the left. VW Golf door on the right, flung open. Handlebar strikes the edge of the door and I go down. Passenger was a teen about 14, alighting to go to the station.
The two ‘amusing’ things about this were: 1.) It was my first ride back after a bad race crash, so I was covered in gauze. It hurt falling on the wounds. 2.) The kid was distressed. He was picking up bits of plastic and stuff from the road and handing them to me, ‘sorry, here is a bit of your bike.’ ‘Nope sorry that is a bit of your mum’s car.’ ‘This one?’ ‘Nope, your mum’s car too.’

Second - I was riding on the extreme edge of an on-road bike-lane at a fair clip. This puts me just over a metre from the parked cars. Door is flung open full; as in, as wide as it goes. It slammed into my rear skewer. I stayed up, though there was paint on the skewer from the impact. The ‘amusing’ thing about this was, during my breathless, but reasonably polite confrontation with the driver and during his profuse apologies, he revealed to me that he had been doored badly as a child.

My rules are:
1. Ride more than a metre from parked cars, bike lane or not. This often sees me in the road not the bike-lane.
2. Don’t filter between cars. If you must, do it at a crawl. Look for doors opening both sides.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby slidetaker » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:23 pm

clydesmcdale wrote:[Because traffic engineers don't have an appropriate set of guidelines/standards to follow. Mostly councils just put them in without any science behind it.
I see it as a potential safety in design issue. If someone gets killed or injured because they were doored whilst in a designated bike lane within the door zone, I would expect there would be some grounds for litigation.


In an ideal world, we will see complete phsyical separation between cars, pedestrians and cyclists. However, this is the real world and if the traffic lane next to the kerb is wide enough, most cyclists will ride on it comfortably sharing with vehicles. Dooring will still happen regardless of whether there is an official bike lane or not. It is an education and enforcement issue, not an engineering one.

If we go down the lawyer path, road authority will just remove the bike lanes. Most cyclists will still ride it as the space is still there. But now more motorists are unaware of cyclists without the signs, line markings and the bicycle pavement markings......
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby lammy » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:37 pm

Going off topic perhaps, but personally I think all driving tests should be re-sat every 5 years and more emphasis on awareness of motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians should be integrated into an both areas of the test. I would estimate a huuuugge number of people would fail it!!! It would generate funding for more cycle/pedestrian lanes (or perhaps free bicycle awareness courses) and get idiots off the road including (...sorry) including the elderly drivers who are more noticabley too indecisive/slow unaware of their surroundings. Not to mention the eye test as my eyes are certainly not as good as they were 26 years ago.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby InTheWoods » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:09 pm

lammy wrote:Going off topic perhaps, but personally I think all driving tests should be re-sat every 5 years and more emphasis on awareness of motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians should be integrated into an both areas of the test.


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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby KonaCommuter » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:48 pm

Feel free to weigh in on my poor road craft :(


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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby wellington_street » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:10 pm

RobertFrith wrote:Many years ago whilst filtering on St Georges Tce I had a lady door me. Predictably I went straight over the door but both bike and I were fine. Her driver's door got bent back a bit on the hinges though and she had trouble closing it. We exchanged details and she got back in her car. Next thing there's a screaming engine noise and a Mini, clearly out of control, came careering down the Terrace, ripped the door out of her hand and bent it all the way back to the front wing and rear ended a row of four cars waiting at the lights. My door assailant was reduced to tears.


Sounds like a good example of why not to filter.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:47 pm

KonaCommuter wrote:Feel free to weigh in on my poor road craft :(


Did you see it coming? If so, a loud surprised sort of yell should wake the doziest of people.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby human909 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:46 pm

The pedestrian was in the roadway ahead of you. If a pedestrian opening a door causes you problems I would suggest that you are shaving the pedestrian too closely. I would either have stopped or changed lanes.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby uncle arthur » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:46 pm

human909 wrote:The pedestrian was in the roadway ahead of you. If a pedestrian opening a door causes you problems I would suggest that you are shaving the pedestrian too closely. I would either have stopped or changed lanes.


Or called out "bike back"....

Or rung your bell.....

Or beeped your AZ.....

Or signalled right to pull further out into the lane......

Or..........
What is it with cycling? 30+ kmh and lycra???!!!
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby avikone » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:47 pm

I haven't been doored but I did door someone a few weeks ago. I was dropping my kids off at school. The entire block is taken up by a primary and high-school. On the other side of the block a church takes up almost half the block. The road is wide enough for parking on both sides of the road as well as for 2 lanes of opposing traffic. It's not a particularly busy road. But obviously any cars stopping would be dropping school kids off.

Admittedly I should have checked my side view mirror before opening the door - as the road is wide I know that I can open the door safely without a passing car hitting it. It didn't even occur to me to check for cyclists as I assumed that they would ride in the middle of this quiet suburban road.

Luckily the cyclist was not injured and the bike and my door were OK - there were witnesses and we exchanged details and I offered to help the cyclist home as they lived close by.

In hindsight, if I am going to ride through a school zone you'd have to think there are going to be kids opening car doors who probably aren't going to look for passing cyclists either.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby DentedHead » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:32 am

For me, dooring is not the big concern, the few places where there is parallel parking and I don't feel comfortable claiming the lane I just avoid. Plus, on my trike, if I did get doored, my recumbent position makes it less likely I'd cop serious injury myself, and I'm not particularly concerned about damage to the offending door.... What does worry me is angle parking. Many drivers reverse well back to get a view of the oncoming traffic, and would be very unlikely to spot my low trike before they were in my path (hence my hi-vis flag. Without it, I really couldn't fault them for not seeing me). I'm always particularly cautious about cars parked "down-stream" from an SUV/Mums Bus. These (largely unnecessary) vehicles force drivers to reverse WAY back into the shoulder/bike path (and depending on the parking of the ego-boost, sometimes into the traffic lane itself) to be seen around, and also block my view to brake lights, eliminating the advanced warning I'd usually get when a car is about to reverse out of an angle park.

Damn things should be illegal on a paved road! ;)

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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby GraemeL » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:57 am

avikone wrote:I haven't been doored but I did door someone a few weeks ago. I was dropping my kids off at school. The entire block is taken up by a primary and high-school. On the other side of the block a church takes up almost half the block. The road is wide enough for parking on both sides of the road as well as for 2 lanes of opposing traffic. It's not a particularly busy road. But obviously any cars stopping would be dropping school kids off.

Admittedly I should have checked my side view mirror before opening the door - as the road is wide I know that I can open the door safely without a passing car hitting it. It didn't even occur to me to check for cyclists as I assumed that they would ride in the middle of this quiet suburban road.

Luckily the cyclist was not injured and the bike and my door were OK - there were witnesses and we exchanged details and I offered to help the cyclist home as they lived close by.

In hindsight, if I am going to ride through a school zone you'd have to think there are going to be kids opening car doors who probably aren't going to look for passing cyclists either.


I wonder what the outcome would have been if it was a car instead of a bike? It is YOUR responsibility to make sure it is clear before opening your door, it doesn't matter where on the road the cyclist is, the bottom line is, you should have checked.
As for being in a school zone and kids opening doors without looking, firstly the parents need to educate their kids on how to exit a car safely. You wouldn't let them jump out into oncoming cars without looking, the same goes for oncoming cyclists.


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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby wellington_street » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:15 am

DentedHead wrote:For me, dooring is not the big concern, the few places where there is parallel parking and I don't feel comfortable claiming the lane I just avoid. Plus, on my trike, if I did get doored, my recumbent position makes it less likely I'd cop serious injury myself, and I'm not particularly concerned about damage to the offending door.... What does worry me is angle parking. Many drivers reverse well back to get a view of the oncoming traffic, and would be very unlikely to spot my low trike before they were in my path (hence my hi-vis flag. Without it, I really couldn't fault them for not seeing me). I'm always particularly cautious about cars parked "down-stream" from an SUV/Mums Bus. These (largely unnecessary) vehicles force drivers to reverse WAY back into the shoulder/bike path (and depending on the parking of the ego-boost, sometimes into the traffic lane itself) to be seen around, and also block my view to brake lights, eliminating the advanced warning I'd usually get when a car is about to reverse out of an angle park.


Yep, front-in angle parking is quite bad and cyclists really need to claim the lane to be safe. It's often impossible to see beyond the next parked vehicle so call you can do as a driver is inch back slowly until you can see.

I have a similar situation near my place where I come out of a laneway which has a building built right up to the edge of the pavement and the corner with no visibility at all. All I can do when driving is just inch forward to try and give any peds and cycles using the footpath a chance to see me. I've nearly hit one pedestrian but that's it, thus far (touch wood).
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby jacob_T » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:29 am

Happened to me and a friend for the first time this weekend just passed.

Was riding with a group of 6 people. Fairly visible. In a bike lane. There was a council/road work car parked on the side of the road. Just as I passed him the door flung open and narrowly missed me and a friend.

I found out later from a friend who was riding further behind that he called out "watch out you f***ing c***s" after us, which I didn't hear at the time.

I'm seriously regretting not going back and getting his number plates and details to report.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby ft_critical » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:58 pm

A date with death’s door avoided, by mm :shock:

Parked cars, 1.5m wide bike lane, 50kmh traffic. I ride the white line, always, on High St Willoughby. Today, this saved my life.

40kmh, a car shadowing me, riding the white line. Door flung open full. I micro swerved, because it was so sudden. I only glimpsed the door and interior. It is certain I would have hit it at full speed had I not been on the edge of the lane. Unquestionable. Seriously injured or dead, certain to probable.

It is ironic that I have been hit in the rear skewer by a door and abused by the cute girl in gym-gear for not riding in the bike lane on this very same stretch of road.

You must ride in the bike lane unless it is unsafe to do so. Seriously, in the dark it is almost always unsafe. I might add I was running a 600 lumen Strada front light. I reckon, if I was generous, I would say the driver assumed I was a car. If they looked that is…

The car behind me saw the whole thing and didn’t pass me for two km. At least someone else saw the danger…
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby il padrone » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:03 pm

If it's unsafe, ride in the road lane rather than the bike lane. DO NOT ride the white line, this is combining the worst of both options.

Most bike lanes alongside parked cars are too narrow and hence unsafe. James Cross (RIP) sadly found out this on Glenferrie Rd.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby Summernight » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:46 pm

That reminds me, ft_critical (glad you are okay, BTW) - yesterday evening in the Melbourne CBD on Collins St up between Exhibition and Spring - there is a non-existent bike lane (just a dotted line in the door zone). I ride on the right side of the door zone line (pretty much in the line of traffic). Door was opened right in front of me where I would have been if I rode closer left. I told the male driver to look next time before opening his door.

It just confirms when this happens time and again that that area of the road just isn't safe.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby QuangVuong » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:32 pm

I am paranoid of this happening to me. Chances are high in my area, as even when Im going around a roundabout, most cars on my left enter and go when Im already in. Very few have stopped, and those that have slam their brakes to stop in time. Luckily I havent been doored so far, and would prefer it to stay that way.
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