Dooring in Chicago
Even with the increase in protected bike lanes, bicycling in Chicago remains a risky proposition. From 2009 to 2010, car-bicycle crashes in the city increased by 11% according to Illinois Department of Transportation.
One of the danger areas is “doorings,” when motorists in automobiles parked on the right blindly open doors into the path of oncoming bicyclists. These incidents continue to occur, even when bicyclists are sharing the road in clearly marked, protected bike lanes.
Another problem is drivers who consider bike lanes as a place to double park (resulting in bikers having to swerve into a non-protected lane of vehicle traffic), or those who completely disregard the notion that they must share the road with cyclists.
The majority of reported doorings in Chicago occur on the north and northwest side of the city, which is likely in line with highest bike usage. The diagonal streets of Clark, Lincoln and Milwaukee have a high incidence of doorings, despite the presence of either protected or marked shared bicycle lanes.
While bicycle lanes and marked share routes can offer some degree of protection, many incapacitating or even fatal injuries involving motor vehicles still occur and cyclists should always exercise enhanced awareness when biking. Look for occupants in the vehicles, hug the left side of the bike lane to avoid the dooring zone and always obey the same traffic laws as cars.
Most importantly, contact an attorney if you’ve been involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. Bicycle accidents can cause long-term and permanent injury, affecting employment and quality of life for years to come. Call us at 312-551-1100 for a free consultation about your case, or click here to learn more about our experience in maximizing results for our clients.