Cycling in Sydney Australia
...or this could happen to you:
Click that link to watch a graphic video of somebody who gets doored and is flung into the path of oncoming traffic.
And now a question for those in local councils, including the otherwise bike-friendly City of Sydney - what are your plans for removing all door-zone bike lanes? It is a cheap thing to do as it requires only paint, and so should be able to be achieved very quickly.
However, the whole point is that the law forces you into the door zone.
Same principle as riding in shared zones, you shouldn't be riding fast enough to have a serious accident.
People bump into each other all the time, If you can't simply just stop and say "excuse me" then your cycling too fast.
I'm not saying door zone shoulder (bike) lanes aren't dangerous and i agree that the motorist is at fault, but there are times when the door zone is the only place to ride and you can do it safely.
If you can't simply just stop and say "excuse me" then you're cycling too fast.
Possibly true on a busy shared path, but on the road? You may as well be walking on the footpath...
The law says you should use an on road cycle lane if there is one. The law does not say you are required to use shared paths.
The seriousness of the accident is NOT defined by the door. its defined by falling into the roadway, and then being struck by the vehicle behind you. There is NO minimum speed that protects you from that, and in practice minimum speed probably makes it worse. Note that dooring motorists do not look at all, and they will open the door as you pass the door and snag your bar.
I don't believe you.
15km/hr = 4.16 m/sec. I reviewed a video of me stopping from 60 on my bicycle for a light on a greasy road on monday (descending), and it took me 0.7 of a second to react and make a concrete action decision, with no other traffic/distractions near. ie my brake noise began 0.7 of a second after the lights changed according to my video.
At 15km/hr, you'd still travel 3m (or half the car length) if your reaction time was that good, before you even pulled the brakes on, and its still probably 5m all up before you are unlikely to fall. IMO 0.7 of a second is the better end of a reaction time to a predictable but unexpected event. Door reaction times will probably be worse, because of the narrow riding space, and the likelyhood that traffic will be distractingly close.
Also door opening is initially more subtle, and takes longer to detect than a traffic light change, and there are two potential courses of action, which means the possibility of achieving no concrete safety action is higher, and the slower the rider is going, the more likely that a dodge will be fatal because they are rear ended harder.
Yes I have no doubt that you can still get doored while travelling slowly, but your chances are much less.
At 15km/h your stopping distance is quite short. I got some stopping distances from this sit: http://www.exploratorium.edu/cycling/brakes2.html
15km/h = 1m
40km/h = 7m
60km/h = 16m
So at 15km/h if someone opens a door 10m ahead of you, you'll have a very good chance to stop or slow down. At 40km/h you'll probably hit the door.
Those are the braking distances absent reaction and decision distances, all of which occur at the full speed of the vehicle, and thus disproportionately influence braking distance. The average casual moderately aware rider is going to take 1 second to react to events and come to a decision, and they will cover 4m at 15km/hr doing so (ie they'd be behind the car when the door started to open and they'd be beginning to apply the brakes when they hit it.
They also presume that the vehicle has strong enough brakes to lock the wheels if not snatched, and that the vehicle will not lock its wheels if you snatch the brakes, and that the vehicle will not rotate around its front axle if full braking force is achieved, and that the full force is immediately available. None of which is true for a bicycle.
I hear what you're saying...believe me I don't think riding in the door zone is ideal, but neither is riding in the lane and having traffic squeeze past you when there is not enough room, especially large vehicles like buses.
Yes definitely true, but taking the lane is not always practical. I'm in Queensland where you can only legally take the lane on a multi-lane road.