Cycling “dooring” hazard. Design is the solution, not penalties.

“Dooring”?  What is it?  The problem is about doors opening in front of unsuspecting cyclists.  The cyclist might hit the door, the person getting out, or swerve and fall, or swerve and be struck by another vehicle.

The behavioural approach says that people must be doing something wrong, let’s create more penalties and more policing.  So after it goes wrong and people are injured we know who to blame.  This will do little about the actual problem.

Design would be better.  The best idea is to separate cyclists and vehicles and this must be a priority.  Nothing else will achieve a proper solution.  Where separation can not be achieved:

Link the rear indicator and brake light to flash rapidly (i.e. not the normal signal) as the door handle is operated.  This would be a matter of a software change to most new cars as they already have the door switch.  The cost should be minimal.

“MORE than 100 cyclists a year on average are being injured in crashes involving car doors in the inner city, research has found.”  Car doors and city streets a dangerous mix for cyclists

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About John Culvenor

Hi, Thank you for taking a look at this blog. I work in engineering, ergonomics, creativity, design, training, etc. Often this is about helping solve legal puzzles through accident analysis. Sometimes it is about thinking up better designs for equipment, workplaces, and systems. This blog is about good design and bad design, accident analysis and how it can be done better, and how we can make a better, safer world by design!
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2 Responses to Cycling “dooring” hazard. Design is the solution, not penalties.

  1. Pingback: More on the anti “dooring” cycling design solution | safedesign

  2. mikebehm says:

    Check the video of Amsterdam biking culture at the bottom of this story, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/03/amsterdam-bike-culture-model_n_1182002.html
    Rather than tell everyone to be careful and wear a bike helmet, the Dutch have solved their safety issues through innovative design and high up on the hierarchy of controls.

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