Motor vehicle accidents do not always include two drivers. In fact, automobile vs. bicycle accidents are common and can result in severe injuries. Dooring may not seem as severe among the different types of accidents, but it can result in minor injuries or severe, life-altering trauma.
The injuries associated with dooring accidents can be as serious as those in a two-vehicle crash.
In automobile vs. bicycle accidents, dooring accidents account for about 19% of all injuries. When a driver opens his or her door, bicyclists may need more time to stop. The collision can result in cuts and abrasions from the sharp edges on the car’s surface from the pavement following the fall. Additionally, the bicyclist may have bruising, swelling and discoloration of the affected area. While bruises or contusions may not seem severe initially, they can hide internal bleeding and fractures.
Significant force can result in fractures and dislocations, especially of the arms, legs, wrists and shoulders. Some fractures and dislocations may require surgical intervention. The most severe injuries, however, include head and spinal cord injuries.
Dooring incidents can cause psychological trauma for both drivers and cyclists. The shock of the collision can result in post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. Both parties may have fear regarding driving or cycling to the point where it interferes with their quality of life. They may be unable to work or enjoy the same hobbies due to psychological trauma.
It is important for all road users to be aware of their surroundings and practice caution. Every individual has the responsibility to ensure the safety of themselves and others, thereby reducing the risk of such unfortunate events and the profound consequences they bring.