As a bicycle rider, you may enjoy the freedom and eco-friendly nature of traveling on two wheels in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. However, the unfortunate reality is that bicycle riders risk severe injuries if involved in a bike-dooring crash.
If you suffered broken bones, a traumatic brain injury, or other injuries in a dooring collision, it is essential to know that you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. One of your first steps should be to contact an experienced Norfolk car accident attorney who can advise you on your rights and fight for the damages you are entitled to under Virginia law.
Virginia's Law on Opening and Closing Motor Vehicle Doors
In Virginia, specific laws govern the opening and closing of motor vehicle doors to ensure the safety of all road users, including bicycle riders. According to Virginia Code §46.2-818.1, a person must not open the door of a motor vehicle on the side next to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so.
Leading Causes of Dooring Accidents
Bicycle-dooring collisions can occur due to a variety of factors. A negligent motorist or passenger can cause them. They happen when a driver or occupant opens their vehicle door right as a bike rider approaches, often hurling the cyclist into oncoming traffic.
Understanding these causes can help bicyclists know whether they have a claim. Here are some common reasons that bicycle dooring accidents occur:
Failure to Check
Often, drivers and passengers fail to check for approaching cyclists before opening their vehicle doors. This breach of Virginia law can result in cyclists colliding with open doors, leading to serious injuries.
Motorists and vehicle occupants who are distracted by their cellphones, GPS systems, talking, or other activities may not be fully attentive to their surroundings. They can open their vehicle door without checking for oncoming traffic and cause a bicycle dooring accident.
Automobile drivers and delivery and other truck drivers in a hurry may park illegally along the side of the road. In their rush to exit their vehicle, they can fail to check for a nearby bicycle rider and smash into them with their vehicle door.