A 32-year-old man swerved to avoid a car door which opened in his path. This caused him to fall under the wheels of a passing semi truck and tragically die. An 18-year-old teen witnessed the accident and said, "The bike lanes are too narrow. You're right up against the cars. If someone opens a door, you have to swerve."
These accidents are dangerous to bicyclists and pedestrians. A retired physician, Michael Charney, has been teaching a door-opening technique to drivers. It is known as the Dutch Reach, or the far hand reach.
Dr. Charney says the technique is simple and can stop drivers and passengers from opening doors in front of a bicyclist or pedestrian. He says it will work for streets, sidewalks and parking lots.
“When drivers and passengers open a vehicle door from the inside to exit the vehicle, they should use their far hand (the hand farthest from the door) to open the door. As you reach across your body to the door handle, your body will naturally swivel, and you will automatically look at the side-view mirror and look back for oncoming bikes and traffic. Open the door slowly and remain vigilant. Most simply: Reach, turn, look…”
Florida Statute 316.2005 is the statute covering the opening of car doors:
“No person shall open any door on a motor vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers. A violation of this section is a non-criminal traffic infraction, punishable as a non-moving violation as provided in chapter 318.”
“If you or a loved one has suffered injuries because of the negligence of another, please contact our experienced team of personal injury attorneys. Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A represents people involved in numerous types of personal injury and wrongful death accidents throughout the state of Florida. All of our clients have unique personal injury cases. Our firm provides personal contact and communication along with aggressive representation,” said Collier County Bike Accident Attorney Randall Spivey.
Collier County Bike Accident Attorney Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.