Cars have long been reluctant to share the road with motorcyclists. In many cases, accidents are caused by simple negligence—such as a driver’s failure to notice a biker traveling behind him. One tragic and all-to-common result of this negligence is a driver or passenger suddenly swinging a car door open, slamming into the biker or forcing him to swerve dangerously into traffic (usually exchanging one crash for another).
A motorcycle crash with an open car door is an unfortunately common cause of biker injuries. Even if a biker manages to avoid hitting another vehicle, he or she may be thrown from the bike, making hard contact with the road, curb, tree, signpost, guardrail, or other stationary object—and may suffer life-altering injuries as a result.
Some of the most common causes of open car door bike accidents include:
- Failure to look. All drivers and passengers are required to look behind them for oncoming traffic before entering or exiting a vehicle. When cars are parked at the side of a road, drivers will often forget to scan the adjacent lane for oncoming vehicles—or will look for cars and fail to see other types of vehicles.
- Illegally-parked vehicles. Vehicles that are illegally parked, such as blocking driveways or parked in active traffic lanes, often have drivers that are eager to “get in and out” as soon as possible to avoid a ticket, leading them to fail to check their side and rear view mirrors before opening their doors.
- Right-hand maneuvers. Motorcyclists are required to move to the right side of the traffic lane before attempting a right-hand turn to avoid blocking traffic. However, this requires a biker to ride dangerously close to parked vehicles at the roadside, as well as entrances to driveways, avenues, and side streets.
- Poor visibility. Bad weather may be blamed for obstructing both drivers’ and bikers’ views, but drivers can contribute to visibility issues by blocking signage or neglecting to turn on their headlights.
- Road defects/debris. Bikers will often need to perform quick maneuvers to avoid potholes or debris on the road surface. If a rider needs to veer to the right to avoid a road defect and strikes an open car door as a result, the biker may be able to bring a suit against the city for failing to maintain safe roads.
We Can Help You Determine Who Is to Blame for Your Injuries
Unfortunately, bikers are usually blamed for these accidents since they made contact with the vehicle rather than the other way around. A biker knows that in many cases, accidents are unavoidable—and just because a motorcyclist failed to avoid a crash does not mean he is at fault. Attorney James Roswold is an avid biker and injury attorney who knows the unique situation injured bikers face. Learn how to protect your rights in his free book, The Devil's Advocate: A Biker's Guide to Accidents & Injuries, or call us today at (888) 348-2616 to discuss your case.