Dooring occurs when a bike rider is struck by an opening motor vehicle door, usually resulting in injury to the rider.
Unfortunately, many bike lanes in NSW, sit within the door zone area of parked cars putting the bike rider at risk.
The law states that “A person must not cause a hazard to any person or vehicle by opening a door of a vehicle, leaving a door of a vehicle open, or getting off, or out of, a vehicle.”
How can bike riders can be proactive about the door zone?
A door opening into your path as a bike rider, isn’t your fault but there are ways to stay safer.
Tip 1: When riding around parked cars, we recommend maintaining at least a one metre gap between you and the car. This helps make you visible to drivers and gives you more space to avoid a door if it opens suddenly.
Tip 2:Unless there is a marked bike lane and sign, a rider can cycle on the road however they must be as far left as is practical. This is the same law that applies to motor vehicles.
Tip 3:If cycling in a bike lane around parked cars, we recommend safely moving into the road in order to avoid the door zone, and then back onto the bike lane.
Tip 4: We encourage riders to take note of any movement in the car, as it could mean someone is about to open the door.
Tip 5: Be sure to pay attention for any lights or indicators being turned on, as this could mean a vehicle is about to move or a door is open suddenly.
How can drivers be proactive about the door zone?
Before opening a door, we highly recommend to look over your shoulder and see what traffic (motor vehicle or bike) is coming.
You can easily do this by opening the driver side doors with your inside hand and twisting a little to look behind you. This technique is also known as the Dutch Reach. All passengers exiting the car should adopt this approach as it can save accidents happening on footpaths, as well as the road.