Dooring is a well-known hazard for cyclists, it has been for years. It's also an easy one to avoid and here's how:
- Never, ever, ride in the door zone: the space in which an opening door would hit you. In practical terms this is about a metre or slightly more. A metre and a half and you're even safer.
- When riding along a line of parked cars, keep an eye out ahead for signs of occupants about to exit. Look at the rear vision mirror, look for a head in the driver's seat, brake lights going off, for a door slightly cracked open. Pay particular attention to cars that have just pulled into a space.
- Hold a steady and predictable line, do not weave into spaces between blocs of parked cars. Suddenly appearing from a gap is another good way to get hit.
- And if your journey regularly takes you along a route which forces you to ride alongside long lines of parked cars, particularly if there are other hazards like fast moving traffic or tram tracks, give serious consideration to finding another route without these hazards.
I have a feeling doorings are on the rise in Melbourne because the current bike boom has lured lots more novice riders onto the streets. That's something to be celebrated but better education is needed of some of the avoidable risks, such as dooring. It would be nice if people didn't fling their doors open without looking, but there's plenty of other things motorists should be doing to make us all safer on the roads and somehow I don't think we're ever going to get to them all. Cyclists have to most to gain by taking responsibility for their own safety, and now you know how.
166km so far this year.