The door zone is the space within two to three feet of cars parked parallel on the roadway. If a driver suddenly opens his door in the path of a cyclist, that cyclist has been “doored.” As this recent tragic news from Australia reminds us, getting doored can get you killed. Sometimes the trauma of the crash will severely injure or kill the cyclist; often, death comes from getting pushed into the path of a passing motor vehicle.
The best way to avoid doorings is to ride outside of the door zone. 36 inch bike lanes are sometimes convenient markers showing precisely where the door zone lies.
Most areas have laws requiring car users to check back for approaching traffic before opening their car doors, but there have been numerous deaths, injuries and property damage caused by careless opening of doors.