Open car doors: a real hazard for bicyclists

Bicyclists have to be hyper-vigilant when biking throughout Connecticut, especially in New Haven. This is due to the amount of traffic and narrow roadways in the area. Cars, bicycles and pedestrians share a limited amount of space and need to be aware of each other at all times. Unfortunately, motorists still think they have the right to do what they want, including opening their car doors without looking. This is an extremely dangerous situation, as bicyclists can crash into car doors and sustain very serious injuries.

Recklessly Opening Car Doors

“Dooring” is not a new issue to bicyclists. For years, they have had to deal with motorists who fling open their car doors whenever they want, without taking a moment to ensure that the door is safely opened. Without bothering to take notice of a bicyclist in the area, a motorist or passenger may place a hazard in the way of a bicyclist that results in life-altering injuries. A bicyclist that crashes into an open car door may sustain a traumatic brain injury (even if he or she was wearing a helmet), spinal cord injury, broken bones, road rash and other devastating injuries that require extensive medical treatment. Collisions with open car doors can also unfortunately cause fatalities.

Vulnerable User Law

In October of 2014, Connecticut enacted the Vulnerable User law. This law, Public Act 14-31, states that bicyclists are part of a group of non-motorized individuals that are considered vulnerable users of public spaces. The act also sets out penalties for motorists who “fail to exercise reasonable care” and cause the serious injury or death of a bicyclist, or another vulnerable user.

Injured? Help Is Available.

If you are a bicyclist that has been injured, or have a loved one who has been injured, it is important to get the help you need. Talk to a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling cases on behalf of bicyclists in Connecticut.