A recent investigation by the police services board has found that between Nov. 2013 and Aug. 2014, police received more than 60 reports of bicyclists being doored, wherein a stopped car suddenly opens its door and hits a cyclist.
In 2012 and 2013, Toronto police didn't track these incidents after a change in the provincial definition of a collision was made. However, after The Star began to highlight these types of blind spot accidents, the chair of the police services board asked the force to start tracking these incidents.
The number of incidents is fewer than the 144 per year Toronto averaged between 2007 and 2011, which could indicate that the city is becoming safer for cyclists.
Information about the dooring incidents, such as location and severity, is not readily available. Some cyclists think it should be available to the public, especially if they want to contact their local officials with ideas on how to make the streets safer.
Additionally, some wonder how many of these dooring incidents are not being reported. Cyclists are sometimes left bruised or walking their broken bicycles home after such incidents.
One website, doored.ca, allows users to post information about these types of incidents. Currently, there more than 100 entries. However, the website is not associated with the authorities and it does not necessarily provide an accurate representation of these events.
Improperly opening the door of a vehicle is a violation of Ontarios Highway Traffic Act. In 2012, drivers and passengers were cited 104 times for breaking this rule, however, the precise number of infractions that involved cyclists is unknown.
The bicycle accident lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners would like to remind motorists to always watch for oncoming vehicles and bicyclists when opening their car doors. Cyclists should also be on alert when passing stopped vehicles.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, the victim may be entitled to file a claim for damages. Our firm offers free legal consultations and can help you determine what your rights are.
Call us at 1-866-320-4770 or fill out the Free Case Evaluation form for a free review of your claim.