Dooring Rates on the Rise

March 27, 2017, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Dooring, or hitting a cyclist with your car door, is a serious problem and the incidence of dooring is on the rise. With spring solidly here, we should review the causes of dooring, and prevention tips. The Toronto Star recently reported that the incidents of dooring are up almost 60% between 2014-2016. Experts note that the real accident numbers are likely much higher as many are never reported to police.

Cyclists ride on the sides of the road in most parts of Ontario, and where cars are parked or stopped at the roadside, the cyclists must ride around the cars putting themselves in harms way should the car driver or driver side rear passenger open he door and block their way. Many urban cyclists biggest fear is being doored. In 2016 alone there were 209 cyclists doored. These are extremely dangerous accidents causing serious personal injury and even death to the bike riders.  Numbers for Waterloo Region aren’t easily found, although there is a list of the top 20 cyclist accident locations:

  1. Cedar Street and King, Kitchener
  2. Hespeler Rd and Munch Ave, Cambridge
  3. Courland Ave and Siebert Kitchener
  4. Hespeler Rd and Bishop, Cambridge
  5. Hespeler Rd and Avenue Road, Cambridge

Experts speculate that dooring rates are on the rise because cycling is becoming more common for everyday commuting. The pace of cyclist friendly roadways has not kept pace with the trend though. Cyclists for their part are asking police to enforce parking and stopping by-laws against cars in bike lanes. Cyclists argue that the bike lanes afford them protection from cars and trucks, and the parked cars force them out into traffic and also increase the risk of being doored.

Dooring is illegal, and the current fine for dooring a cyclist is $365 and three demerit points. Drivers must now give cyclists at lease one-metre of room when passing them. The penalty for not adhering to this is $110. If there isn’t room to pass the cyclist due to traffic then the car must follow the cyclist until there is enough room to pass safely.

Police recommend that if you are parked at the side of the road you should use the 'Dutch method' for opening your car door which involves the driver using their RIGHT hand to open the door. This forces you to turn your body and you can see out the side and rear of the car door.






Posted under Accident Benefit News, Bicycle Accidents, Personal Injury

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