Monday, December 14, 2009

Accidents Will Happen (Part 2)

Alors, la deuxième partie in our ongoing series on accidents and safety considers the dreaded "Door Prize".

I've been in a lot of accidents, but I've never been doored. I certainly see how it could happen though. Even while I'm driving a car people fling there doors open with utter disregard for the consequences. Keep an eye out when riding in the door zone for anyone in the driver's seat. If they're there, assume that they will throw the door open at exactly the wrong time.

Robert Hurst, in the Art of Urban Cycling, considers the Door Zone (DZ) to be 3.5-4 feet from parked cars. The cruel irony is that in many cities this is exactly where the bike lane is.

The key to avoiding this type of accident is to ride further left, which is great in theory, but not always possible in practice. When not practicable, awareness is key. Scan for possible door traps constantly.

If this type of accident has to happen to you, here's hoping the driver of the car is between you and the door -- not as a buffer for you, but as a punishment for them.

For a dramatic presentation of just such an event, you should check out Doored! The Animated Feature over on

[Image via]

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