Anyone had a car door opened on them?

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Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby lammy » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:42 pm

I got a phobia about this happening to me just wonder if anybody else has the same concerns every time they ride past a parked up car.

For some reason in my head cars parked up on their own seem to freak me out the most, I almost try and peer into the mirrors and windows from afar to see if they are occupied.

I had a near miss years ago where just managed to swerve out of the way (sorry ladies but it was a woman). I crapped my pants :oops: .... ever since I and super wary and perhaps more dangerously cycle right out in to the middle of the road, which I am sure ''normo'' non cycling drivers dont understand and they beep me and sometimes shout abuse.
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by BNA » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:47 pm

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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby twizzle » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:47 pm

A leigitmate concern. I don't ride right out, but I look in mirrors and inside, and if it's tinted I'll check behind to see what the traffic is like. I only have a couple of short sections where I have to deal with this, but it's stressful.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby warthog1 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:03 pm

Dont ride in the door zone

Of the eleven cyclists who were killed [by dooring], nine of them were actually killed by another vehicle passing by. One of the nine swerved to avoid getting doored, lost control of his bike, fell, and was struck by a passing eighteen-wheeler. The other eight were knocked into the path of another vehicle after first striking the door. The other two cyclists who were killed died after striking the door and being thrown to the pavement." Bob Mionske, Bicycling & The Law, p. 153

I ride outside the door zone, too many close calls. If there are parked cars I am well clear of them, most drivers seem to understand. The ones who don't, well I'm not endangering my life for their convenience :x
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby Sprocket » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:14 pm

My brother has - taxi driver opened his door just as he was going past. He was riding what he thought was a good distance from the parked cars, but apparently still just within door reach as he collected the corner of the door in his left leg. It sliced into his leg (had to have a number of stiches) and threw him over/around the door, and he then broke his scaphoid landing. Taxi driver saw the damage he'd done and said "I'd take you to hospital mate, but I've got a fare" !!!!! So a couple of coppers walking past accompanied him to hospital, but more importantly they had witnessed the whole thing and got the taxi driver's number. They threw the book at him, pinging him for a number of offences, including leaving the scene of an accident. Fortunately for bro' it was just stiches and broken wrist, and not as serious as warthog1's posting!
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby jules21 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:15 pm

1. ride outside the door zone. if there's no room:
2. reduce your speed (a lot)
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby Stoo » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:17 pm

Yep.

I have had a door opened on me at UQ, St Lucia campus.
It took me out and totaled my first road bike only after i just bought it.......that same day!

Argh, good times.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby zero » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:18 pm

lammy wrote:I got a phobia about this happening to me just wonder if anybody else has the same concerns every time they ride past a parked up car.

For some reason in my head cars parked up on their own seem to freak me out the most, I almost try and peer into the mirrors and windows from afar to see if they are occupied.

I had a near miss years ago where just managed to swerve out of the way (sorry ladies but it was a woman). I crapped my pants :oops: .... ever since I and super wary and perhaps more dangerously cycle right out in to the middle of the road, which I am sure ''normo'' non cycling drivers dont understand and they beep me and sometimes shout abuse.


60,000 kms over 10 years. Doorings 0, rear enders 0. Moral of the story is do not ride in the doorzone. Allow 1.2m + estimation error room from any car door, and don't waste your time trying to figure out whether the car is occupied or not. Just structurally avoid that accident type and allow yourself more brain-time for identifying more dynamic dangers. Should never risk a static danger when riding where there are dynamic dangers.

Note that you shouldn't (and I don't) use onroad bicycle lanes if they are butted against occupied parking stalls. I ride well out past the lane line, clearly occupying the general traffic lane.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby biker jk » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:30 pm

zero wrote:
lammy wrote:I got a phobia about this happening to me just wonder if anybody else has the same concerns every time they ride past a parked up car.

For some reason in my head cars parked up on their own seem to freak me out the most, I almost try and peer into the mirrors and windows from afar to see if they are occupied.

I had a near miss years ago where just managed to swerve out of the way (sorry ladies but it was a woman). I crapped my pants :oops: .... ever since I and super wary and perhaps more dangerously cycle right out in to the middle of the road, which I am sure ''normo'' non cycling drivers dont understand and they beep me and sometimes shout abuse.


60,000 kms over 10 years. Doorings 0, rear enders 0. Moral of the story is do not ride in the doorzone. Allow 1.2m + estimation error room from any car door, and don't waste your time trying to figure out whether the car is occupied or not. Just structurally avoid that accident type and allow yourself more brain-time for identifying more dynamic dangers. Should never risk a static danger when riding where there are dynamic dangers.

Note that you shouldn't (and I don't) use onroad bicycle lanes if they are butted against occupied parking stalls. I ride well out past the lane line, clearly occupying the general traffic lane.


This is the best advice. Never ride in the door zone. It's just too risky. I would suggest that with the longer doors of a coupe you should leave at least 1.5m. Better safe than sorry.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby rustychisel » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Every cyclist has had a door opened on them, the issue is what happened as a result, and it's certainly one of the most dangerous things.

My partner was car doored in January this year - claims and civil action is pending as her injuries stabilise - so I'll not say anything specific, except that she has been through 10 months of pain, rehab, doubt and fear (I've seen her cringe in the front seat of the car as a reactive fear when she saw a driver 100m down the road open their door suddenly, this some 5 months after the incident). She's a pretty experienced cyclist, now I need to get her back on the bike....
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby birdbrain » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:23 pm

I saw a young girl get hit in Swanston St a couple of years ago. The door of the taxi just swung open and she ran smack bang into it. I was riding 10ft or so behind and I assisted her as did a few other people. She hit the ground pretty hard and cut her arm and was in a bit of shock. I offered her my mobile no. and to be her witness but she said all she wanted to do was get going as she was late. I also gave the taxi driver a serve. I often wondered why she did'nt take it further.

I'm always careful and ride outside the door zone but I was riding in the famous 12inch cycling lane across Princess Bridge once and a door flung open. I rode straight into it at a very low speed and proceeded to give the woman who intended getting out a serve. "What you just did is illegal you know". I got the old "I'm sorry". No big deal but could have been if I had been moving at some speed. Anyway I'm not paranoid and using common sense is the best way to avoid being doored.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby Lukeyboy » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:42 pm

Not too much of a worry but when in traffic in built up areas I get a little concerned. Last night was the last time i was almost doored haha. Riding up the road with a freshly purchased slurpie from 7-11 (so I wasn't going that fast) after a 90km blast and some w**k pot had those bright blue headlights that just blind and distract anyone oncoming when even on low beam. Moved over to the left as there were parked cars on both sides of the road and just seconds after the car passed by some old guy opened his door about 2/3 of the way just as I was riding past. Just missed the door by 5-10cm. If the car had of passed by a couple seconds later I would still have been in the door zone. Stopped about 15m up the street and when I looked back he was reaching over and fiddling with the glove box. 43 seconds later still with the door two thirds open he got out of the car. I guess he wanted the light on to see what was in the glove box :roll:
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:15 pm

Yes twice, can't stay out of the door zone all your life. Once in London and once in Parramatta. Both times they were passengers getting out in stationary traffic... Both times the cars and passengers came off worse than me... Glad I was on mtbs both times, car doors just folded around, would have been expensive fixes. I got off with a couple of scratches.
I will be the first to admit that I wasn't always worried about personal safety and took risks.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby maestro » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:19 pm

http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/sites/default/files/bikevision-large_0.pdf
In Melbourne ‘Dooring’ is the most common cause of a crash involving cyclists, representing one in five of all crashes involving cyclists reported to police. More than 100 cyclists a year are injured in crashes involving car doors in the inner city alone.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby elantra » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:35 pm

jules21 wrote:1. ride outside the door zone. if there's no room:
2. reduce your speed (a lot)


Number 2 is especially applicable if you are filtering through stationary traffic but with parked cars to your left.
In this situation some cyclists will cut left onto the footpath but this is only legal in Queensland.
And not sensible if the footpath is busy.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby pacra » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:24 pm

Once. Years ago in Melbourne CBD. Ihad only been commuting for a year or so and the concept of a dooring had never crossed my mind.
Hit the open door of a new Corolla (1980's model) breaking the door swing retaining pin, pushing the door nearly 180 degrees and demolishing the front wheel and forks on the bike.
The motorist never asked whether I was hurt (I wasn't) or offered compensation for the bike but complained about her damaged new car.
If I had been older and wiser I would have had had the police involved and claimed against her.
I have been paranoid about doors ever since and when I see a door opening at me I scream "DOOR" at the top of my voice. They might think I am an idiot but they certainly react to save their own skin.
It may be my imagination or the roads I am on, SE Melbourne, but I am convinced potential doorings have become epidemic despite the publicity.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:56 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzL0Kyk4 ... e=youtu.be
Not really dooring... but an impressive blind spot!
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby Strawburger » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:02 am

Yes
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby Scarfy96 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:52 am

jules21 wrote:1. ride outside the door zone. if there's no room:
2. reduce your speed (a lot)


Add another +1 to this.

Had a couple of close calls over the years but judicious application of 1 and 2 and no doubt a little luck has so far served me well.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby JessicaAlba » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:32 pm

Yep. Had just left lbs after a tune up and happily ticking thru the gears, enjoying myself, when some moron opened his door. Luckily had ten metres to take action, but it was a close one.

Now I spend most of my time well away from the door zone and keep one the on the road and the other on every parked car, for signs of movement within.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby jasonc » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:55 pm

still like the idea of stopping by leaning into the car

1. will slow you down quickly.
2. will make an absolute mess of their paintwork.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby zero » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:40 pm

jasonc wrote:still like the idea of stopping by leaning into the car

1. will slow you down quickly.
2. will make an absolute mess of their paintwork.


Whilst I like the serves them right aspect, most doorings don't happen at a forward distance where you get much choice in the matter, and often as not the person that doors you doesn't care much about the paint on their car.

ie if you ride close enough to get doored, then you ride close enough for them to only pop the door a little, just as you pass and catch your left bar, which makes you fall to the right and get run over. That or the door only gets opened a little way, and you strike the top corner of the window, or window surround with your head or face, which hurts more than a fully open door, and tends not to damage the door much or at all.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby jasonc » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:35 pm

zero wrote:
jasonc wrote:still like the idea of stopping by leaning into the car

1. will slow you down quickly.
2. will make an absolute mess of their paintwork.


Whilst I like the serves them right aspect, most doorings don't happen at a forward distance where you get much choice in the matter, and often as not the person that doors you doesn't care much about the paint on their car.

ie if you ride close enough to get doored, then you ride close enough for them to only pop the door a little, just as you pass and catch your left bar, which makes you fall to the right and get run over. That or the door only gets opened a little way, and you strike the top corner of the window, or window surround with your head or face, which hurts more than a fully open door, and tends not to damage the door much or at all.


agree there.

rule 1 is don't get yourself in that situation
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby booge » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:07 pm

Yep, one of those days when i felt like i had the strength of Superman on the bike, flying along in the bike lane with a tail wind on the way home from work, CRUNCH. Not even enough time to react, so perfect was the timing of the door. Negative, had to get a lift home as the bike was cactus, positive is that I got a brand new bike from her insurance and did more $$$ worth of damage to her car. Front door was so bent it couldn't be closed. Always thought I was careful but that day proved to me I wasn't. One disappointing thing I remember is people in peak hour sitting in their cars next to me with a horrified look, just watching as i was picking myself up off the road after a number of cartwheels, no one helping except the lady who doored me.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby RobertFrith » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:10 pm

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.
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Re: Anyone had a car door opened on them?

Postby Lazyweek » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:42 pm

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.
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