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Bikers Should Not Be Blamed For D.C. “Dooring” Accidents

Washington, D.C., is a great city for bicycling. We have an extensive network of bike paths and bike lanes, but these lanes don’t go everywhere. Eventually, a biker has to ride in traffic.

Riding in traffic can be scary. Bikers worry about being hit by a driver who is pulling out, speeding, distracted, or simply not watching for bicyclists. But parked vehicles can also be a danger. Bicycle “dooring” occurs when a driver or passenger opens a vehicle door directly into a biker’s line of travel. The biker has no time to get out of the way and he crashes into the door. The bicyclist may be thrown off his bike by the impact.

Running into a door may not seem serious, but D.C. “dooring” accidents can result in very serious injuries and even death. The most serious “dooring” injuries occur when the impact of the crash causes the biker to be thrown into traffic.

Bicycle “dooring” can happen anywhere, but “dooring” accidents are most common in urban areas like downtown D.C., where bike lanes are narrow and parallel-parked cars line congested streets.

D.C. law requires drivers and passengers to watch for bicyclists when opening a vehicle door. A driver who causes a “dooring” accident will usually be issued a ticket. But, in some cases, bicyclists have also been found at fault. A Maryland biker was ticketed for passing on the right after he was injured when a passenger opened the door of a taxi.

A driver who is issued a “dooring” ticket may lose a couple hundred dollars. But, a bicyclist who is “doored” could lose his life.

Don’t get blamed for a driver’s recklessness. If you have been injured in a D.C. “dooring” accident, you may need legal help. Contact Lewis & Tompkins to schedule a free consultation. One of our bicycle accident attorneys will be happy to meet with you and discuss your case. Call us today to schedule your appointment.