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Cyclists and car-door incidents

Riding a bike to work has its benefits. It’s an easy way to fit in regular exercise and an eco-friendly way of traveling the daily commute. It’s also a growing trend in NSW for those who live close enough to work.

But there are risks for cyclists on the road. Not only are cyclists most vulnerable to personal injury in motor vehicle accidents; they are also at risk of personal injury when riding next to stationary cars.

Cyclists can be severely injured upon collision with car doors that are suddenly opened. In these circumstances there is also the risk that cyclists will be knocked off their bikes and thrown into oncoming traffic.

These incidents are surprisingly common.  Almost 6 percent of all injuries to cyclists in 2006 and 2010 occurred because of car doors. In Victoria, the figure was higher at 8 percent during 2007 and 2011, and approaching 20 percent in the Melbourne CBD.

While the Victorian government is looking into strategies for prevention of these incidents, in the meantime there is little a cyclist can do to ensure it does not happen apart from constant surveillance of surroundings.
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