Dooring is a common and dangerous type of bike accident. It involves a collision in which a bicycle rider is struck by an open or opening car door. These types of accidents often happen when bicyclists ride in a bike lane close to a line of parked cars.
Idaho bike laws cover a lot of important safety issues and legal traffic moves. For example, the Idaho stop law allows bikes to pull up to a stop sign and proceed through after yielding to other traffic. However, there is no law explicitly addressing liability in dooring accidents.
Many areas haw laws requiring drivers to check for bicyclists and other drivers before opening the door of their vehicles. While Idaho doesn’t have rules specifically addressing bikes in particular, a statute concerning opening and closing vehicle doors prevents drivers from opening their doors on a side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, including presumably, bikes.
If you are injured by a car driver’s negligence, you will likely be able to sue the person for compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. While the law doesn’t protect bikers overtly, it does protect moving traffic from negligent drivers.
Do your best to avoid dooring accidents by looking closely at parked cars. Give idling vehicles a wide berth and if you see a driver in the side-view mirror, expect the person to open their driver’s side door at any minute.
Drivers should also be aware of how to avoid these types of accidents. Consider using the “Dutch reach” when getting out of the car. The Dutch reach involves opening your car door with your right hand, so you are forced to turn and look over your shoulder before exiting your vehicle.
Talk to our skilled Pocatello bicycle accident attorneys if you are interested in pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver. May Rammell & Thompson has more than 70 years of legal experience to offer your case. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (208) 623-8021 or fill out our online form to request a initial case consultation today.