Bicyclist Killed Hitting Open Car Door in Oakland

A dooring accident took the life of a 24-year-old Oakland man Thursday, October 4, 2019, around 6:50 p.m. Police say the accident happened when an occupant of a Toyota Avalon opened the car door into the path of the a bicycle riding on the right-hand side of Fruitvale Avenue around the 1800 block.

The rider was ejected form the bicycle and landed in the street and was then hit by a Dodge Ram pickup that was riding in the traffic lane.  EMT treated the man, but he died at the scene. Both the driver of the Toyota and the Dodge stayed at the scene and cooperated with the authorities.

Dooring Accidents

A dooring happens when the occupant of a stopped car opens their car door into the path of a cyclist causing an accident. Injuries happen when the bike hits the door and ejects the rider who then hits another object or the pavement and sometimes into traffic risking getting hit by another vehicle.

Other times, the cyclist swerves into the traffic lane to miss the open door and gets hit by a passing vehicle. In both these scenarios, the cyclist had little or no time to react to avoid the door or the passing vehicle, and serious injuries are often the result.

California Law

California has a dooring statute that says (CVC 22517) which states that no one should open a vehicle door on into a bike lane or the traffic lane unless it’s safe to do so. The law also says that any open door should stay open only long enough to load or unload passengers.

Violators are subject to a fine, and many cycle groups feel that enforcement in many of the cities in the Bay Area is lax and the fine is too small.

Dooring Injuries

A cyclist that gets doored almost always gets ejected from the bike and eventually hits the pavement or a concrete sidewalk or curb. Cyclists are virtually unprotected unless wearing a helmet which gives the head limited protection.

Because of this, certain common injuries occur with bicycle dooring accidents, some of them are:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Severe Concussions
  • Wrist Fractures
  • Broken Arms/Legs
  • Chest Compressions
  • Internal Injuries/Bleeding
  • Severe Road Rash

Injured? Contact a Specialist

Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only personal injury law firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing injured cyclists. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills, knowledge base and familiarity to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise.

Contact us today for a free consultation by email or by calling 415-466-8717. California cyclists who are injured by negligent drivers are entitled to a wide array of compensation. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest.



Please be aware that these case results do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. Every case is different and case values turn on small facts and differences. Thus, the results achieved on one case do not necessarily mean the attorney will achieve the same result, or a similar result, even for a case which may have some similarities.