Doorings have made a bit of press lately with the revelation that IDOT does not track or count doorings based on their assertion that there is no moving vehicle involved. ATA is trying hard to change that, but in the meantime cyclists should be aware that doorings are a real hazard.
I suggest several easy strategies to avoid doorings:
- Stay out of the door zone. See the picture above from Boston Biker Blog. It illustrates where the door zone is in relation to a bike lane. Keep in mind that bike lanes are basically striped directly in the door zone in Chicago, so ride toward the outside of the bike lane.
- Look in side view mirrors for people. If you see someone in the car you know that door may be opened in your path, so act accordingly.
- Put out your hand to catch doors. If I ride in the door zone, or close to a parked car door, I instinctively put out my hand as if to catch an opening door. Twice I have avoided being doored in this way.
- Bob Matter also suggests the use of a "Take a Look" mirror. His theory is this: Most people ride in the door zone becuase they are worried about being hit from behind. If you use a mirror it makes one a little more comfortable to take a lane if they have a view of the traffic approaching from behind.