Motorcyclists on Dallas and Fort Worth roads face many risks of crashes caused by careless drivers. Bikers can be struck in head-on collisions, hit by drivers turning left, or run off the road by a drunk or distracted driver. Another danger for motorcyclists is occupants of cars and trucks opening their vehicle doors into the path of a motorcycle—often causing serious injuries and fatalities to the riders.
Five Common Ways Open Door Crashes Occur
These crashes occur when an occupant of a parked vehicle opens his door and the motorcyclist has only seconds to get out of the way. Common reasons these crashes occur include:
- Illegally-parked vehicles. Cars that are pulled over and parked in illegal parking zones create many hazards, including the risk that a motorcyclist will not anticipate their presence and will drive into an opening door.
- Objects, potholes, or other debris on the road. A motorcyclist may need to veer closer to the right side of the road to avoid these obstacles and could get hit by an open door if an occupant of a vehicle is not paying attention.
- Occupants of vehicles failing to check mirrors. Often occupants of vehicles just open their doors without first checking their rear and side mirrors. This is especially dangerous on busy roads and in parking lots.
- Bad weather. Weather conditions, such as heavy rain or fog, can reduce visibility significantly. Occupants of vehicles failing to be attentive to their surroundings can easily open their door into an unsuspecting motorcyclist.
- Motorcyclists turning right onto another street. Motorcyclists must ride closer to the right side of the road when making a right-hand turn. The driver and any passengers in a vehicle parked close to the intersection can cause a crash by opening their doors without checking for other motorists on the road.
Open-door motorcycle crashes can result in motorcyclists suffering serious injuries—such as head injuries, whiplash and neck injuries, and spinal cord injuries. These injuries can be devastating for a motorcyclist who could incur expensive medical bills and loss of wages for a significant amount of time—if he recovers enough to return to work at all. Fortunately, an injured rider may be entitled to compensation from the motorist who opened his vehicle door without looking.
If you or a family member was injured in a motorcycle crash, our experienced legal team is here to explain your legal options and the compensation you could be entitled to. Start an online chat or call us at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.