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Tips to Avoid Getting Car "Doored"
One of the more common accidents experienced bicycle riders contend with is the hazard of getting car "doored." Getting doored can be a very serious serious accident for a cyclist, even fatal.
California Vehicle Code
C V C Section 22517
Opening and Closing Doors
No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open upon the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
Motorists must look carefully for bicyclists before turning left or right, merging into bicycle lanes, and opening doors next to moving traffic. Respect the right-of-way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with you.
Ride With Traffic
Ride in the same direction as traffic. This will make you more visible to drivers entering roads or changing lanes, because they will know where to look for possible conflicts. On a one-way street, you may ride on the left as long as you are riding with traffic.
How Far to the Right?
Ride on the right, but not so far that you might hit the curb. You could lose your balance and fall into traffic. Do not ride too far to the right:
- When avoiding parked vehicles or road hazards.
- When a traffic lane is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side.
- When making a left turn so that vehicles going straight do not collide into you.
- To avoid conflicts with right–turning vehicles.
Keep your eyes on the road ahead. Avoid running over potholes, gravel, broken glass, drainage grates, puddles you can’t see through, or other unsafe road conditions. Look over your shoulder to avoid swerving suddenly into traffic. When possible, signal before changing lanes.
Bicyclists should ride far enough away from parked vehicles to avoid being hit by an opening door.
Bike Safety In General:
- Be Visible
- Ride With Traffic
- Avoid Accidents: Be Aware of Likely Points of Conflict With Cars
- Avoid Injury: Wear a helmet and gear to help make you visible