As a cyclist, you depend on passenger vehicles to pay attention and obey the road rules to avoid a dangerous accident. Since cyclists are more vulnerable in an accident, you sometimes have to be proactive to ensure your safety. When it comes to accidents, one of the most common and dangerous types is a dooring accident.
According to the Active Transportation Alliance, dooring accidents occur in the door zone, a four-foot area around a parked car. To avoid an accident, there are a few tips cyclists can use.
Watch out for vehicles
Drivers should be on the lookout for bicyclists, but you cannot always trust drivers to meet their obligation. If you install a mirror on your bike, you can easily see all vehicles behind you. When driving past parked cars, keep a close eye on the cars behind you. If a driver opens his or her door on you, you may have to swerve.
Most cyclists pay attention to the vehicles on the right, but you need to keep your eye out for cars on the left too. Sometimes, vehicles will stop mid-block and passengers may exit. Proceed with extreme caution when you have stopped traffic and parked cars on either side.
Change lane position
Keep an eye on the vehicles you pass. Always check inside the vehicle as you ride close to check if there are drivers or passengers. Being aware of people within the car may help you avoid a serious dooring accident. If you do not have room to stay at least four feet from the parked vehicle, you may want to consider moving to the center lane.
If you have to change position, be quick to remain safe on the road.