Dooring is one of the ever-present risk factors for city riders. If you’ve been injured in a dooring accident, contact a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer to discuss your case.
Commuting by bike is a heart and environmentally friendly form of transportation, exercise, and recreation. Chicago, and other cities around the world, have worked hard to make their metropolises safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. In Chicago, cycling paths have been added and expanded, and the city offers safe city biking classes for beginners among a number of other initiatives. Despite the push to make Chicago a better place for cyclists; riding in the city still comes with many very real dangers.
Dangers of Open Car Doors on Chicago Streets
As the name suggests, dooring refers to when a driver of a car opens their door and hits a bike rider. Dooring can be very dangerous to riders, and is a very real concern city wide. To address it, Illinois became one of only a few states in the nation to enact anti-dooring legislation. In addition, in 2011 Illinois revised the law to officially name “dooring” a type of accident. This gives injured parties a much clearer mechanism for pursuing civil damages and means they can receive compensation for their injuries.
According to the 2011 amendments, anyone involved in a dooring accident must report it to the Illinois police department. This paper trail and official report is an important piece of evidence for injured cyclists who file a civil lawsuit. If you’re ever involved in a dooring accident, don’t lose the opportunity to make a timely official record; contact the police immediately.
Bicycle Safety Ordinance
To help keep cyclists safer, Chicago enacted the Bicycle Safety Ordinance. Under its provisions, motorists involved in dooring incidents face stiff fines. While many traffic violations carry fines between $50 and $200 – dooring offenses cost drivers $1,000. Chicago cab drivers must have stickers on their windows that say “Look! Before Opening Your Door,” designed to help keep them aware of cyclists and cyclist safety. Although dooring is an accident, it often requires negligence on the part of the motorist. When a driver opens the door without checking for bike riders, he or she is negligent.
If you’re a Chicago cyclist, do your part to minimize the risk of a dooring accident. Remain visible, wear bright reflective clothing items. Affix reflectors to your bike and ride defensively by doing your best to avoid the path of parked cars with passengers still inside. If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver in a dooring accident, contact an attorney experienced in car crashes. Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900. Free consultations are always available.