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letters | city studies bike-crash data

If your hand is on door handle, eye should be on cyclists’ path

Your article on Boston’s bicycle safety report notes that 22 percent “of the collisions between cars and cyclists occurred when a vehicle door opened unexpectedly on a cyclist” (“With crash data, city tries to make bicycling safer,” Page A1, May 15).

Car doors do not open “unexpectedly”; they open when people in the vehicle work a handle and push them open. When this results in a collision with a cyclist, the fault is almost always that the vehicle operator failed to check that it was safe to do this, and it is these drivers who should shoulder the heavy burden of liability for the serious injuries their negligence causes.

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That is not to say that all accidents involving cars and bikes are the fault of drivers, but “dooring” should be reported with action verbs to make it plain to all just where the responsibility lies for avoiding this kind of collision.

Tony Lovell


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