How to avoid doors

Avoiding getting 'doored'

How to avoid getting 'doored' in Bristol.

This is an avoidable yet serious cause of up to 10-20% of cycling collisions*. Has this happened to you? The issue is that as a cyclist you'll have no warning of a door opening as a driver or passenger decides to get out without checking. It's therefore very important to ride a minimum doors-width away from vehicles and outside the 'door zone'.

Note: Drivers/passengers have ultimate responsibility, clarified in 2022 highway code changes, and can face fines for dooring a cyclist.

Bizarrely, many of the city's painted cycle lanes encourage you to ride in this dangerous space alongside cars. Instead to be safe you must ride outside the bike lane which adds to the perception (for less well educated road users) that cyclists are being 'difficult' or 'entitled' by riding outside the lane.

These painted bike lanes, especially where they are narrow and in the door zone, need widening or removing. Much of a narrow painted lane is also in the 'gutter' the space a meter from the pavement which you are also advised not to ride in too!

The bottom line is to rideaminimum of 1.5 meters away from the side of vehicles to rule out hitting a door.

A classic bad example ofcycle lane design in Avonmouth (you must NOT ride in the bike lane!):

Drivers and passengers are required to check carefully before opening a door, which was clarified in recent highway code changes (

This also clarified that road users should allow pedestrians to cross at junctions and that drivers should not cut across cyclists. This issue is many may not have ready it:

"Where you are able to do so, you should open the door using your hand on the opposite side to the door you are opening; for example, use your left hand to open a door on your right-hand side."

"This will make you turn your head to look over your shoulder."

"You are then more likely to avoid causing injury to cyclists or motor cyclists passing you on the road, or to people on the pavement."

*Looking at statistics from a number of cities worldwide.