Cyclists and Boarders Know! Cardoors are a Deathtraps! When you hear a "Click" get out of the way fast! Watch Out! Always look inside parked cars as you pass! Look for faces in the side mirrors! Assume every door you pass will suddenly be thrown open! Taxi cab passengers are the worst! Be extra careful around taxis! Take the Lane! Keep riding! Don't be afraid, be aware! We pay taxes and have the same rights to operate on the streets! Don't give up the fight! You car drivers out there Remember to check your mirrors! Then check again just before you open your door! Cyclists and Boarders can appear faster than you might think! Always assume a cyclists or boarder is about to pass your door! Lets work together! Share the streets! We can prevent these types of accidents! An injury to one is an injury to all!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bike Accident Photo Essay, Posted by Jerry SF, CA

These images are two several taken by Robert Winters for the Cambridge Civic Journal regarding the July 2nd 2002 fatality of cyclists Dana Laird. Dana was run over and killed as she swerved to avoid a car door on Mass Ave. It has been posted here with Roberts permission. Soon I'll be adding a separate photo page to display more photos Robert took at the scene and other general photography related to Car Door accidents. Until then please visit Roberts site to view more photos of this unfortunate incident.

Additional information:
Go to the_ "Feburary 2005" section at the bottom of this page. There you'll find a post by Matthew Pickett who's brother knew Dana.

Go to the_ links section under "magazine articles" to read the Boston Phoenix account of the accident.


Monday, June 06, 2005

Ted Greenwald, San Francisco CA

Here's my story:
It was just before 6pm on November 5, 2001, and I was pedaling down the San Francisco streets on my way to the train station for the evening commute home. Night falls early in November, and the daylight was fading. In those days my bike didn't have a headlight. And although I wear a helmet, I hadn't put it on; it dangled from my handlebars.
I was keeping close to the right-hand side of the street and traveling at a pretty quick clip when I saw a car door opening in front of me. I swerved, but not enough to avoid clocking the door with my right pedal. My launched into the air like a missile. I remember flying, thinking about what landing would be like. I crashed into the pavement and realized that I had gotten off lightly. Rather than smashing my head, I had merely scraped my nose against the asphalt. I had instinctively put out my left hand - my dominant hand - to break the fall. The guy in the car didn't even get out to check on me; he closed the door and sat silently in his car as I picked myself up. Then I noticed that my wrist was hurting, and my only thought was to get ice on it ASAP. I ran into a nearby eatery and got a bag of ice, then picked up my bike and walked to the train station. I forgot all about the guy who had doored me. I thought my wrist was sprained, but it turned out that I had broken my left scaphoid, a tiny carpal bone that often fractures in the course of a hard fall on an outstretched hand - it's a common injury among skiers, skateboarders, motorcyclists, basketball players, and soldiers dodging incoming ordnance. Even when it's treated properly, it doesn't heal in 10 percent of cases. Over the next several months, I learned that I was in that 10 percent. Here it is, June 2005, and I'm still working on getting my wrist back into shape. I got surgery in late 2002, and which finally healed the fracture, but it left my range of motion compromised, so I put my wrist in a stretching device three times a day. The wrist is pretty functional, but it will never be back to normal; Even if I get the range of motion back, the cartilage damage is permanent, leaving me with an arthritic wrist. If you get doored and you're unfortunate enough to break your scaphoid, my advice is: don't wait to see whether it will heal naturally. Get it surgically fixed right away if you can. You'll avoid a bunch of unpleasant complications that way.



Thursday, June 02, 2005

Bill Birrell - Santa Monica, CA

I did get hit by the door, but it was still closed.

Sunday afternoon, summertime on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica can be pretty hectic. The park overlooking the bluffs is very attractive and probably the best place for a young family to go to get out of the heat.

Woe to the poor cyclist that gets in the way of a car diving for a parking space.

Ocean is a slight downhill grade and I was in excellent shape in 2002 so I was cruising along at 30 mph, just about the speed of traffic. Up ahead, I notice that a car pulled out of a parking space - just far enough ahead that it wasn't obnoxious. And it was such a beautiful day, why worry...Then the car next to me, who had recently pulled up along side of me, veers hard into my thigh. I am not a wall flower, so I start screaming and pounding on the window but the car just keeps coming. The woman in the passenger seat turns to look me in the eyes and I can see she is screaming behind the glass, but the car just keeps turning into the newly opened space. I had nowhere to go so I hit the curb without being able to slow and this turned out to be a good thing as the sidewalk is double wide.. I had enough momentum to fly over said side walk and land on the grass beyond, tumbling into a palm tree. The driver was nice enough, admitted to being a sometime cyclist. Everything seemed fine until I got on the bike to go home. The first left hand corner I took, the carbon front fork failed and down I went at 5 mph, separating my shoulder. Oh, well.