From the Forum – I “doored” someone and am trying to find them

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I “doored” someone and am trying to find them:

“This morning [Wed. Feb. 4th], in a moment of rush and complete and utter carelessness, I did not check before opening the passenger door as I was getting out of my car (silver 2004 Toyota 4Runner) and doored someone on their bike at 18th and N Sts NW around 9:30am. The biker flipped off onto the sidewalk but quickly got up and said they were fine, and sped away before we could exchange contact information. If you are this person, please contact me with identifying details. As a biker myself, I feel horrible and I would like to know if the biker needs any bike repairs that I can pay for. It seemed like there weren’t any injuries, but I’d pay for necessary medical bills as well. Thanks. ”

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36 Comment

  • As a fellow biker, you are a wonderful person.

  • You are a good person. Thank you for trying to do the right thing.

  • You are a good Samaritan who has pretty much single-dooredly restored my faith in the goodness of drivers.

    • The person was coming out of the passenger side. That’s not how drivers usually exit.

      I’m trying to figure out how this happened. Was the cyclist on the sidewalk? And going too fast to brake before hitting an opening car door? Sounds like a series of poor decisions and I’m a cyclist.

  • As the victim of a door-and-run who sustained a broken elbow and torn rotator cuff that required two surgeries, I applaud you for trying to do the right thing.

    • I wonder if he’d be making such a generous offer if the cyclist he hit appeared to have a broken elbow and a torn rotator cuff… I hate to sound cynical but most people I know don’t have that kind of cash lying around.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I suspect that nobody including the OP will ever know. Humans are not known for their accurate predictions about what they would do in situations that they haven’t actually been faced with before. And most (honestly, not all, but most) drivers I know have liability insurance.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Right, OP wasn’t driving. Not sure about OP, but many people with homeowners or renters insurance have liability insurance that covers injuries caused to others even when not at the insured premises. I do.

  • You are a good person. But the cyclist doesn’t seem to want or need your financial assistance. So if you want to assuage your personal guilt — which seems to be the reason for your outreach — maybe you can consider a donation to WABA or even volunteering to help get the word out about the need for better protected bike lanes. Thanks!

    • That’s a little harsh, but I am all for WABA funding. Good idea!

    • As a cyclist who has been hit by a car and crashed racing (fortunately no major injuries), there is a HUGE rush of adrenaline when you make impact. You feel fine. You stand up. You might even continue to ride your bike not realizing that you possibly broke something on yourself and/or your bike. When a motor vehicle is involved, if you haven’t hit your head, your inclination is to just wave it off and say “I’m fine!” It’s not until several hours later that you start to feel real pain or notice that broken spoke.

      And yes, I’m willing to bet a lot of people feel pretty damn bad if they potentially cause injury to another human and don’t do anything about it. There is nothing wrong with this and you shouldn’t shame the OPfor feeling bad and trying to reach out.

      • Totally agree. When I got in a wreck, I took off like a jackrabbit being chased by a cheetah. In the moments after I got hit, there was no frontal cortex thinking going on at all, only adrenaline and brain stem. It was only when I got home that I realized how bloody and battered by hand was. Thankfully there were no broken bones but the road rash + cuts took a while to heal.

        • I don’t believe this story for a second. Fish don’t have hands.

        • I’m the OP. Thanks for stating this more eloquently than I could. People don’t act rationally when they’re in the initial throes of an adrenaline rush, so to me the fact that they hurried away doesn’t mean much other than neither they nor their bike were gravely injured/damaged. If the biker sees this, it’s completely up to them whether or not they decide to contact me. I just felt (and still feel) like putting this out there was the right thing to do in an awkward and crappy situation. I’m as cynical a city dweller as anyone (though I won’t even bother responding to one of the more ridiculous comments below) but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have an obligation to respect everyone who’s on the road.

  • Why not just donate to WABA to assuage your guilt? Seems like the victim doesn’t want/need your help, but there are plenty of other bikers in the area who could benefit from your contribution to WABA.

  • This post is a-door-able!

  • I think this situation does indeed call for an apology–from the biker, that is! I write a column for a local publication, and I have been calling attention to bike terrorists for some time now. This person got what they deserved for waging bike-jihad!

  • I call BS. Anyone else think this is just a clever way to track down the biker who hit her door and then make him pay for damages….?

    • No. No other sane person thinks that.

      It’s not like a bike could really do that much damage to a car door anyway.

      • You’d be surprised what damage a bike/biker can do. I was hit by a minivan years ago and the damage I and my bike did totaled it.

      • +1. Yeah, no, no one else thought that.

      • Just saying that if I were trying to track down a biker to take some form of revenge, should I post something about being angry at said biker or something about being sorry and wanted to give that biker $$$? Which is more likely to get a response. Biker beware.

  • I witnessed this accident (biking just a few meters behind). The OP and the driver of the car were indeed very concerned about the biker. Since the biker seemed to be getting up pretty quickly and wanted to leave, I even said “you guys should exchange contact information” but unfortunately the biker didn’t seem interested in that as he went ahead. At the next light I was behind the biker and he seemed fine. He wasn’t looking back to where the accident had happened. The OP and driver pulled more to the side of the road and were still standing there several minutes contemplating what to do.
    OP, you’ve definitely done whatever you could in that situation! Hopefully he’ll contact you so you can make sure he’s OK.

    All the best from a fellow biker.

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