Watch: What Is ‘Dooring’ and Why Are Drivers Doing It?
Motorists are targeting bike riders. News from the Bay Area reports bicyclists are being injured by motorists using a new method of attack called “dooring.” It’s an apt name, as that is how cyclists get hurt, with drivers that open their car doors into oncoming bicyclists.
The attacks are happening in Oakland, Emeryville, and Berkley. Of the 14 incidents reported, eight riders have collided with doors, with two needing a trip to the hospital. The rest are lucky.
What injuries did cyclists have from dooring?
The problem, besides injury, is that the attacks are seen as an “accident,” until you see the video. It is apparent that it is a coordinated assault on cyclists. But it is going beyond striking riders with doors.
In some cases, drivers are trying to intentionally hit bicycles with their car, rather than dooring them. “I have eight stitches and this big gash in my forehead,” one of the hospitalized told Fox 11. “There was this gray sedan. A passenger on the passenger side opened the door and slowed down the car. My bike rammed right into it.
“I fell to the ground, and they drove away. As they drove away they were laughing.” Yeah, that sounds intentional. Oakland police are actively investigating at least one dooring resulting in injury.
“They tried to kill me”
Another injured cyclist describes his date with a door. “This is very scary, it’s criminal. I mean the people doing it should really think about the consequences here.
“They pulled ahead after the roundabout. As they passed they opened their door smacking me on the shoulder and just drove off. They opened the door knowing I was there. They deliberately tried to kill me.”
Do bike lanes keep dooring from happening?
In the LA area, a recent report found that most accidents involving cyclists happened when there were no bike lanes. So obviously, one thing that can help protect cyclists is having them, or for cyclists to find another route where bike lanes are present.
Cyclists involved in these assaults should file a police report. This way there is a record of the incident. Also, take pictures of your injuries and any damage to your bicycle.
As soon as you can, write up descriptions and other pertinent information to remind you of details that may be harder to recall over time. And get medical treatment. That also establishes the attack is real. And can come in handy for some type of settlement, should your assault go that far.
Is there a statute of limitations?
If you intend to file a lawsuit, there are statute of limitation considerations. States have various time limitations for wrongdoing. In California, for instance, it is two years from when the incident occurred.
As to these drivers’ motives, who knows? You can imagine as far as your mind can conjure up. But it is another sad statement for where society is at in 2023.