LawTalk Blog

Cyclists and Car-Dooring

man riding in a bike lane

The number of cyclists riding for recreation or commuting in Adelaide and South Australia is on the rise.

To accommodate this, roadside bicycle lanes and dedicated bicycles paths also continue to expand throughout South Australia. However, even with these accommodations, cyclist safety is one that should continue to be discussed - especially car-dooring.

What is car-dooring?

Car-dooring occurs when a driver parks their car on the side of the road and opens their door without checking for oncoming cyclists. As surrounding traffic continues to present a risk to the cyclist, an opened car door often leaves them no way to avoid a collision.

This has resulted in cyclists suffering a wide-range of injuries, with varying severity. Whilst some have escaped with grazes, bumps and bruises others have suffered broken bones, head injuries and required periods of hospitalisation. There have also been reported instances of a cyclist suffering fatal injuries from being car-doored.

Can I claim motor accident compensation for injuries from a car dooring?

Each case will depend on it circumstances, however in most car-dooring incidences a cyclist would be successful in making a claim for compensation. In instances of “car-dooring”, the driver of the car and the cyclist both have a duty to look out for the welfare of others and themselves.

The most common reasons why these incidences occur are due to the driver’s inattention - failing to check and keep a proper lookout for vehicles or cyclists approaching them from behind.

In the same manner, cyclists also have a duty to keep a proper lookout and approach parked cars with caution. If the cyclist is able to, they should allow sufficient space to pass parked cars safely.

What do I do if I’ve been car-doored?

If you are a cyclist on our roads and you have sustained injuries after coming into contact with another vehicle, whether by car-dooring or otherwise, you should promptly seek legal advice.

We’re happy to advise you on your rights and entitlements under Motor Accident Compensation through the compulsory third-party insurance scheme. Be sure to get advice early as time limits apply for making claims.

Matt 018.jpg

Get in touch with today's blog writer:
Matthew Fuss

Partner in Personal Injury

Please note, this Blog is posted in Adelaide, South Australia by Andersons Solicitors. It relates to Australian Federal and South Australian legislation. Andersons Solicitors is a medium sized law firm servicing metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia across all areas of law for individuals and businesses.

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