In Philadelphia and many other metropolitan areas, urban biking is common both for recreational activity and work; but it is not without its risks. Cyclists do not have the four-wall protection provided by a car or truck if they get hit by a car. They also run risk of further injury if they are tossed into oncoming traffic. Though most cyclists are concerned about being hit by moving vehicles, many do not realize that parked cars could be one of their deadliest foes.
Bicycle dooring is a common occurrence in which drivers or passengers in parked cars open their car doors into a bicyclist’s travel path, thus giving the cyclist little or no time to react and move out of the way. The result is a violent collision that can lead to debilitating injuries. The Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other losses that arise from bicycle dooring accidents.
There are a few tips to keep in mind when riding bikes to ensure safe passage:
- Pay attention. Both drivers and bicyclists can be distracted at times. Always pay attention to your surroundings to prevent distracted driving accidents.
- Search for bike-friendly routes. Use bike trails or ride bikes in less populated areas to reduce the risk of being struck by a car.
- Wear helmets while riding. Practice safety. A helmet can often make the difference between whether you suffer minor bumps and bruises or a life-threatening brain injury.
- Beware the door zone. Avoid riding along the driver side doors of parked cars. This is known as the “door zone”. Car doors extend 3-4 feet beyond the side of the car. Staying clear of this area will help ensure you do not get into a dooring accident.
- Be wary of parked cars. If someone recently parked or has been sitting in their car for a while, there is a good chance they will be opening the door soon. Be mindful and avoid riding near occupied parked cars.
There are important steps to take to protect yourself if you have been involved in a bicycling accident. Bike accidents should be treated similarly to car accidents. Regardless of whether there were any serious injuries, police should be called to obtain a crash report. If possible, the bicyclist or other witness should record the license plate number of the vehicle involved in the accident, as well as the driver’s name, insurance and contact information. An incident report must also be requested from police if there is personal injury or property damage to ensure a claim can be filed with the driver’s insurance company.
Police officers are authorized to issue tickets to drivers in the case of dooring accidents. If there was a hit and run, a report must be filed as soon as possible to help police identify the parties involved in the crash. Cyclists involved in a dooring accident should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries, even serious injuries, may not be apparent immediately after a crash. Therefore, it is important for accident victims to get checked by a medical professional to ensure proper treatment. Also, a doctor’s report can provide valuable evidence if the victim later pursues a personal injury claim.
Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Recover Compensation for Victims of Bicycle Dooring Accidents
If you or someone you know has been hurt in a bicycle accident, call the law offices of McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC at 215-569-8488 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation with a seasoned and knowledgeable Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyer. We have offices in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.