Avoiding the Door Zone

Avoiding the Door Zone

This has been reasonably well publicised on forums but is a good introduction to the problems of the ‘Door Zone’ for cyclists. This is the area of the road where the doors of parked cars will open into.

Although cars and hence car doors are generally smaller here in Europe, so are roads and cycle tracks. Many cycle paths here in Utrecht consist of a differently coloured strip of tarmac on the side of the road, between where cars drive and cars park. Drivers assume that you should stay on this narrow strip at the side of the road but it is actually a dangerous place to be as a cyclist. Whilst a car pulling out on you is not a good thing, and can throw you onto the ground in the path of oncoming traffic, being ‘doored’ is rarely a trivial event and in some respects more dangerous.

I’ve only ever been ‘doored’ once a very long time ago and luckily I was cycling into a stiff headwind at the time on a quiet residential street. Thus when I hit the car door that someone had carelessly opened, I wasn’t going so fast and there was no traffic coming in either direction. Other cyclists are not so lucky.

So car drivers, before you open your door in haste, remember to take a good look behind you. It might be your son, daughter, grandchild or grandparent on that bike you didn’t see.

Thanks to YouTube user Wpreston3 for making this material available to us all.