For years, San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area have struggled with concerns about pedestrian and bike safety, with the number of fatalities remaining high despite efforts to improve. Recently, a 31-year-old cyclist was killed when a parked car opened its door unexpectedly, sending the rider into traffic. This type of accident is one of the more common bicycle accident risks. Called "dooring", these incidents occur when car occupants open their door without looking, striking passing bicyclists, and/or setting up obstructions that bicyclists don't have time to avoid.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition provides some guidance to drivers to avoid causing accidents by reminding drivers and passengers to make sure the road is clear before opening your door. One common sense suggestion is to look in your mirrors and turn around before you open the door. Also, if you open your door with your right hand, your body automatically turns to look back. Getting in this habit helps to ensure the road is clear. Additionally, once you open your door it's important to remember to close your door as quickly as possible. Drivers who fail to ensure the pathway is clear and hit someone with their door are almost always determined to be at-fault and may be liable in a personal injury action for any injury caused. Often, harm caused by dooring may be catastrophic, even fatal.
For more information regarding bike safety, or if you or a loved one was harmed in any type of personal injury accident, please contact the dedicated San Francisco personal injury lawyers at Botwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.