William E Van Tassel Ph D Biography & Facts
Dooring is the act of opening a motor vehicle door into the path of another road user. Dooring can happen when a driver has parked or stopped to exit their vehicle, or when passengers egress from cars, taxis and rideshares into the path of a cyclist in an adjacent travel lane. The width of the door zone in which this can happen varies, depending upon the model of car one is passing. The zone can be almost zero for a vehicle with sliding or gull-wing doors or much larger for a truck. In many cities across the globe, doorings are among the most common and injurious bike-vehicle incidents. Any passing vehicle may also strike and damage a negligently opened or left open door, or injure or kill the exiting motorist or passenger.
Doorings can be avoided if the driver checks their side mirror before opening the door, or performs a shoulder check. Use of the Dutch Reach (or "far hand method") for vehicle egress has been advised to prevent doorings, as it combines both measures. As bicyclists cannot rely on motor vehicle occupants to use required caution on exiting, bicyclists are advised to avoid the door zone of stopped or parked vehicles.The term is also applied when such sudden door opening causes the oncoming rider to swerve to avoid collision (with or without loss of control), resulting in a crash or secondary collision with another oncoming vehicle or another vehicle that is directly next to the cyclist. The term also applies when a door is negligently left open, unduly blocking a travel lane.
Many countries are aligned with the Vienna convention which states: "It shall be prohibited to open the door of a vehicle, to leave it open, or to alight from the vehicle without having made sure that to do so cannot endanger other road-users." (Article 24 — Opening of doors).Most areas have laws that require car users to check for all oncoming traffic including cyclists before opening the door of their vehicle. Some jurisdictions also consider it a traffic code violation if vehicle doors are unnecessarily left open and thus continue to obstruct an adjacent travel lane.Despite such laws, serious injuries and deaths continue to be caused by occupants opening doors or by bicycle riders riding in the door zone. A 2015 British survey found that 35% of drivers self-reported that they did not check for traffic before opening their vehicle's door to exit.The problem lies with avoiding this 5 feet (1.5 m) zone, which should be part of the parking zone, when there is a bike lane or the perception by law enforcement or motorists that one should be riding their bike out of the travel lane to not impede faster motorized traffic. In most jurisdictions, a cyclist is considered a driver/operator of a vehicle afforded the same rights as the driver of a motor vehicle; however, in some jurisdictions cyclists are further restricted by laws such as "ride as far right [or left] as practicable." From a cyclist's point of view, "practicable" includes safety, and safety is noted in many of these laws through exceptions; however, many law enforcement, judges, motoring public and even cyclists stop reading at "as far right." Most motor travel lanes adjacent to a bike lane are only 10–11 feet (3.0–3.4 m) wide, so if a cyclist has to use that lane to avoid hazards in the bike lane, it is too narrow to safely share with passing traffic and he/she should ride in a "lane-control" method as is allowed by most of these ordinances.
Avoidance and prevention
Dooring prevention has proven a difficult problem as incidents can occur wherever hinged vehicle doors are carelessly opened and suddenly obstruct travel lanes or sidewalks. Surveys of driver behavior upon egress, in the United Kingdom and the state of Florida, USA, found that 1/3rd (33%) and 3/5th's (60%) of drivers respectively did not check for oncoming road users before opening.Cyclists are advised to avoid door zones and exercise great caution if in range of open doors from either side when in traffic. Motorists and passengers are advised to exercise heightened caution and vigilance before and during entry or egress from their vehicle. Passengers are advised to exit curb-side only, and never when vehicles are paused in a travel lane.
Street planners are encouraged to avoid placing bike lanes in door zones, and to implement instead buffered, separated and/or protected bike lanes and tracks, or shared lane markings. Motor vehicle bureaus and departments of transportation are advised not to restrict vulnerable road users into door zone bike lanes by force of traffic code.
Motor vehicle engineers and manufacturers are deploying new technologies to warn or prevent vehicle occupants from exiting in the presence of oncoming traffic. Auxiliary side view mirrors are now available which fit on B-pillar (car) to assist rear-seated passengers preparing to exit.Road safety advocates also call for greater enforcement, fines and penalties, while insurance companies and personal injury attorneys apply sanctions after the fact in the form of increased premiums and liability lawsuits.
Improved training in road sharing by motorists with vulnerable road users is recommended for all road users, done by means of upgraded driver licensing and education standards, curriculum and testing, and public education and behavior change campaigns to improve road safety conduct.
Because it is rarely possible to see and react safely to a suddenly opening door, traffic cycling educational programs teach cyclists to ride in the safe zone or travel lane well outside the door zone as measured from the tip of the handlebars.
As street planners often lay out painted bike lanes in the door zone, many bicycle safety advocates advise cyclists to maintain a safe distance from car doors nonetheless and disregard such markings to do so. However riding on the margin of the bike lane places a cyclist in increased proximity to overtaking vehicles and also at risk of being squeezed closer into the doorzone. Other advocates therefore instruct bicyclists to take control of the full travel lane and adopt "vehicular cycling", to avoid dooring, considering this to be the safest position overall.Also to avoid doorings, bicyclists are advised to exercise vigilance, scan for the presence or likelihood of an occupied parked or stopped vehicle. Risk is increased especially in areas and at times of high parking turnover, on main arteries, during morning and evening commutes, and in retail, restaurant and entertainment districts with parallel parking. Bicyclists are also advised to assure their visibility to motorists & in mirrors both day and night by the use of bright and reflective clothing, vests, reflectors and front lights. Marked caution, slow speed and preparedness to brake when in the door zone are also counselled.
Motorists and passengers – both front and rear – may be able to make dooring less likely by practising the "Dutch Reach" – opening the car do.... Discover the William E Van Tassel Ph D popular books. Find the top 100 most popular William E Van Tassel Ph D books.