November 11, 2009

Getting Doored

6 Ways to Reduce Your Chances
1. Three Foot Rule
Ride with your handlebars at least three feet from parked cars.
2. Stay Left
As the folks at BicycleSafe postulate that it's safer to ride "far enough to the left that you won't run into any door that's opened unexpectedly" because "you're more likely to get doored by a parked car if you ride too close to it than you are to get hit from behind by a car which can clearly see you."
3. Watch for Sudden Stops
If a car stops in front of you suddenly, slow down, look for exiting passengers, then pass on left. Keep an especially close eye on taxis slowing down near intersections.
4. Use Mirrors
If you can catch the driver's eye in the side-view mirror of a stopped car, you can make her/him aware of your presence.
5. Watch Lights
If a car's brake lights are lit, it may have just pulled in. If, at night, you notice a car's interior lights are lit, expect someone to exit that car soon.
6. Be a Savvy and Safe Cyclist
Wear your helmet, stay in bike lanes, scan the streets as you approach, and know the traffic rules in you area.

What to Do if You're Doored

1. If you see it coming but can't avoid it, stay upright and try to extend your right foot to reduce the impact. It may be safer than swerving into traffic.
2. Once the dooring has happened, it's recommended that you report the accident, gather information from the motorist, and get medical treatment if necessary.

Via Treehugger
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