An Observation Of “Dooring” Victim Behaviors

Of late there has been interest in a report that showed a “spike” in the number of “door collisions” occurring in 2015 over the previous year. The reasons that this might be happening could be due to some behaviors I witnessed tonight while park in front of a bike shop.

When cyclists get into discussions in the Urban Cycling Movement echo chamber the like to do what Trump Supporters do and that is chant something very much like our side is not failing but the appearance of that non-existent failure has everything to do with something brought about by the Obama Administration. And as you might guess for the Chicago “Whine and Jeez Club” their “boogey man” is spelled “motorist“.

One participant stated clearly that should you get entangled with a motorist’s door it has by definition to be his fault, never yours.

Watching Cyclist Behavior While Waiting for a Brompton Clinic To Begin

Having arrived a half-hour early we sat in the car and waited. I noticed a cyclist leave the shop and beginning do loops around the park across the street that took him on the sidewalk and the street as well. He was dressed in a bright green cycling kit and had a nice racing bicycle.

Across the street from where I sat is a stop light. So from time-to-time the traffic would stop and wait for the light to change. The cyclist on at least one occasion decided to ride directly between the row of parked cars and the cars waiting for the light to change because I assume he did not wish to wait in line in traffic.

By definition he was riding in the “Door Zone” of the parked cars and in the corresponding “Door Zone” which exists for passenger getting out of cabs on the curbside. But what was of greatest concern to me was that he was moving at a speed consistent with being out in traffic moving at the speed limit, excepting that he was doing this speed between two sets of cars. He would not have had time to stop should any of those cars had a passenger or driver decide to exit. And more important still this is not a place or time when you would ordinary expect a rider to suddenly appear!

Taking Extra Care To Exit My Vehicle

As starting time for the clinic I was there to attend I decided that the safest way to exit my vehicle was to first look into my rear view mirror over the center of my console for traffic directly behind me. I could see cars approaching but it was difficult to judge just how far back they might be. So I leaned towards my door to view these approaching cars that were destined to pass me on the left.

I was in the process of deciding to wait a few moments more before exiting when suddenly a different cyclist pulled out from “a spot directly behind my seat” and passed close enough to my driver’s side door that he brushed my mirror!

The problem with this cyclists behavior is that he is being reckless in riding that fast, that close to a parked automobile and all while trying to avoid being out far enough to the “traffic side” of my vehicle to be seen in time.

I would guess that at his closing rate I could have used the technique for door opening that is often practiced in Amsterdam and still have managed to strike him because he was not leaving a wide enough distance between himself and the left side of my car while traveling at a rate of speed inconsistent with his being able to stop before an door opening into traffic. And all of this was made more likely to have resulted in an “accident” because of his unwillingness to give me a wide enough berth to see his approach.

Bicyclists are taking an unnecessary chance when riding a 15-20 mph up against parked cars without providing enough clearance to be seen in time to avoid collision, even when a driver is attempting to take due precautions.