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Getting a Handle on the Rights of “Doored” Cyclists

New York City accounts for over 450,000 bike trips each day, a number which we have seen increase significantly over the years. It makes sense then that an increase in bicycle trips results in an increase in bicycle-related accidents.

In a cyclist’s world, being “doored” means that while you are riding, a car door is opened on you or opened in your path of movement. These instances can actually cause serious injuries to cyclists, who are basically crashing into a thick piece of metal. The driver of the vehicle may think that it’s the cyclist’s fault for riding into the door and attempt to seek legal compensation for damages to their car. However, it’s important for cyclists to get a handle on their rights if they are ever “doored” on the streets of New York.

The “Door Zone”

The “door zone” is where cyclists are most commonly doored and is considered two to four feet adjacent to parallel parked, double parked, or stopped cars. The door zone is also available for cyclists to use simultaneously as drivers do. Multiple cases from the Supreme Court of New York have put the vehicle 100 percent at fault when a motor vehicle doors a cyclist.

Vehicle and Traffic Violations

Vehicle, taxi, and traffic laws in New York protect the rights of cyclists in “dooring” instances and state that it is illegal for vehicles to open their car doors in moving traffic.

  • It is unlawful for a person to get out of a vehicle from the side facing on the traveled part of the street in such manner as to interfere with the right of the operator of an approaching vehicle or a bicycle.

  • Taxi cab drivers are not permitted to stop for pick up or discharge of passengers within 10 feet of traffic or the bicycle lane.

Although vehicle owners may try to pursue legal action against them, cyclists have rights that are protected under New York law in dooring instances.

If you’ve been involved in a New York dooring accident and suffered a personal injury, call our firm at (866) 352-6944 and we’ll help you seek legal compensation.