Bicycling as a form of transportation has caught on across the United States in recent years, mainly due to its attraction as an environmentally friendly way to get around, as well as its health benefits. As a result, New Jersey has added bike lanes and other infrastructure across the state to accommodate the increasing number of bicyclists on the roads. However, as the number of cyclists has gone up, so has the number of hazards that can potentially kill or harm them. Bicycle dooring injuries are one of them, especially in urban areas.

The Basics Of Dooring Injuries

“Dooring” is a bicycle crash or collision caused by motorists opening the doors of their parked vehicles into the paths of oncoming cyclists. Generally, dooring occurs in one of two scenarios. The first scenario occurs when cyclists are riding their bikes on the far right-hand side of the road, as they are legally obligated to do in order to avoid obstructing traffic, and are hit when drivers of a parked car open their doors. The other scenario occurs when a cyclist is hit by the passenger-side door of a parked vehicle.

In the majority of cases there is no warning before motorists open their doors. The primary reason for this is cyclists often cannot see into the cab of a parked vehicle, because of window tinting or the glare of the sun reflecting off of the vehicles’ windows. As a result, when a motorist opens his or her vehicle door, cyclists can be taken by surprise and thus do not have the ability to avoid the collision in many cases.

The unpredictable nature of dooring accidents creates very dangerous conditions for bicyclists on the road. When cyclists do not see the door opening in time, they may collide with the door at a fairly high rate of speed, causing them to be thrown from their bikes. Additionally, even if cyclists are able to see the door opening ahead of them, they may be forced to suddenly swerve outwards into traffic, putting them at risk of being hit by a motor vehicle.

Although the majority of states have passed traffic laws requiring motorists to verify that they can safely open their car doors before doing so, New Jersey has no such law.

Injured In A Dooring Accident? We Can Help.

Due to the relatively high rate of speed and lack of protection for the cyclist involved, dooring injuries can be catastrophic. It is fairly common for victims to suffer traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, broken bones and other major and minor injuries. In serious cases, the collision can be fatal.

Despite the lack of a criminal statute prohibiting dooring in New Jersey, victims of dooring accidents may be able to recover compensation from the responsible party for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other expenses caused by the accident.

Throughout New Jersey, including Rochelle Park, Hackensack and Newark, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm have developed a reputation for aggressively protecting the rights of injured clients. Contact us today at 201-231-7847 to schedule a consultation with a lawyer to learn more about how we can help you.