Even parked vehicles have the opportunity to injure pedestrians and cyclists. While many people may not consider colliding with a car door (dooring) a major problem, it accounts for about 20% of all cycling injuries. Considering how common these injuries are, it is important to know what drivers and pedestrians can do to prevent them. Here are a few tips everyone can follow to keep the roads safe for everyone:
Do not rush out of your vehicle
Just because your car is off and parked does not mean that it cannot hurt someone. Even if you are in a hurry, make sure not to rush out of your car. Opening a door too quickly leaves people around you little time to react to you safely, so be sure you take your time exiting the vehicle.
Keep an eye on parked cars
Even though a car is not idling on the side of the road, there can still be someone in there who is about to exit. As you are about to pass any car, keep an eye on them to see if you notice any interior movement that may signal an exiting passenger, especially in a car that just parked.
Alert others when you exit the vehicle
Not everyone keeps an eye on the cars they are about to pass on the street. As a friendly way to alert nearby pedestrians that you are exiting your car, give a brief courtesy honk. A short honk is all it takes to get someone to notice you and make the difference in whether or not they avoid your car door.
Whether you are a driver or a pedestrian, anyone can take a few extra measures to ensure they are keeping themselves and those around them safe. If you are on the street, make sure you take an extra moment to ensure you are doing your part to stay safe.