Cyclists are well aware of the risks that they face from the traffic around them. A texting driver could drift into the bike lane. A young driver may forget to check for bikes when making a turn. Some drivers may experience road rage and drive aggressively around cyclists.
But there is often the thought that parked cars, at least, are fairly safe. A cyclist who is riding down an empty street with cars parked all along the curb may relax, assuming that they face low risks for the moment. The truth, however, is that even these parked vehicles could cause a major accident that leads to life-changing injuries.
Getting doored by drivers or passengers
The risk lies in getting doored. This can happen if there are still drivers and passengers in those cars. Since they’re parked, they’re likely right next to the bike lane or the shoulder of the road. When they get out, they swing that door open right into the cyclist’s path.
Dooring often happens without warning because you may not even see the vehicle pull into the parking spot. To you, on your bike, it looks like an empty car. In reality, the driver is just taking a few minutes to send a text or check social media.
When they’re done, they absent-mindedly swing the door open without ever looking behind the car. They may even still be staring at the phone. If this happens at the moment that you’re riding by, you slam into the inside of the door and get thrown from your bike. It’s like riding at full speed into a solid wall that you never saw coming.
Can you seek compensation if someone causes this type of accident?
Drivers and passengers are supposed to check the bike lanes before getting out of the car. Not doing so is very negligent and could put you in the hospital with serious injuries. If this does happen, you may be able to seek compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages or simply the pain and suffering you have to endure.