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Why stopped vehicles are safety hazards for cyclists

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Cycling is a healthy and cost-effective form of transportation. A bicycle costs a fraction of what a motor vehicle does and requires neither insurance nor fuel. However, it does leave people at greater risk of injury than traveling by car, as a bicycle provides no protection in the event of a crash.

Cyclists are often on the lookout for collision risk factors, such as inattentive drivers and motorists swerving all over the road. They may not pay as much attention to stopped vehicles. Why are parked vehicles potentially a source of risk for Oregon cyclists?

People may open their doors without looking

In theory, a stopped vehicle isn’t much of a safety risk, but a stopped vehicle can be incredibly dangerous for a cyclist. People in the vehicle, either the driver or a passenger in the backseat, could open their doors into traffic.

The decision to do that might send a cyclist flying out into the street. Even if a cyclist can slow down enough to avoid the worst-case scenario, they are still at risk of injury due to blunt-force trauma. Oregon state statutes include rules against opening doors into the street without first checking traffic.

While the statute does nothing to reverse the damage potentially caused by a negligent driver or passenger, it does at least provide someone with the grounds they need to take legal action if they get hurt in a dooring incident. An injured cyclist could file an insurance claim. They may also have the option of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the motorist or passenger who caused their injuries.

Learning more about the causes of cycling collisions can help people more effectively address safety concerns in traffic. Those who understand the law may also feel more empowered to take legal action after getting hurt on a bicycle due to another’s negligence.