Thursday, September 3, 2020

Video Shows Chicago Bicyclist Doored On Dearborn Street

A 31 year old male riding a bicycle was injured last month when a driver opened his vehicle's door into the cyclist's path near 1155 North Dearborn Street.  Our firm was retained to represent the bicyclist.  This morning we secured video of the crash from a condominium building near the crash site.  The video (below) shows that the biker was riding north on Dearborn just before 8:00 p.m. on August 19th when the driver of a white Scion flung his door open.  Because it was twilight, the cyclist was riding with an operating flashing white headlight, suggesting that the incident probably could have been avoided had the driver looked before opening his door.

Illinois law is quite clear that, “No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic.” 625 ILCS 5/11-1408.  Nevertheless, doorings are a problem that just won’t go away.  The urban bicyclist rides in perpetual fear of having a door flung open into their path.  Sadly, the number of such incidents is going in the wrong direction.  Between 2014 and 2015 the number of reported doorings in Chicago rose by 50 percent.  In Chicago more than 300 bicyclists were doored in 2015, the last year for which figures are available.

In response to this ongoing problem, in 2018 then Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner, signed a new law into effect that added a the "Dutch Reach" method to the Illinois Rules of the Road manual in an effort to encourage safe behavior from drivers when opening a door into a roadway.

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