A Bike Crash Expert Analyzes a Fatal Dooring
Noted bicycle safety authority and expert witness John S. Allen published this pro bono analysis of the dooring death of 36 year old cyclist Dana Laird which occurred in July 2002 in Central Square, Cambridge, MA, USA. Ms. Laird was biking legally in a city-designated bicycle lane [aka door zone or death zone] when the driver of a Honda SUV illegally opened his driver door obstructing her path. Additional links are provided as found on the web which further detail the collision, coverage, legal, social and policy issues, implications and consequences.
Widening awareness that drivers and passengers can exit more safely using the far-hand reach method may have implications for driver and passenger liability in future dooring cases. Publicity about successfully prosecutions and liability trials and verdicts will help alert the driving public about dooring and hopefully alter their future conduct.
Urban cyclists too have much to gain for their own safety from Mr. Allen's observations.
About the Dana Laird fatality
John S. Allen, July 25, 2002
Note: John S. Allen has an extensive, highly informed and thoughtful bicycle safety oeuvre on the the web which range from consulting and expert crash analysis, mechanical & technical bike issues, and bike safety education, to a comprehensive blog on current bike-safety related events, policy issues, etc.
John S. Allen - Home Page
Bicycling Street Smarts: Riding Confidently, Legally and Safely
Coverage & Opinion: 14 Years ago, Dana Laird was killed, doored by a heedless SUV driver. What have we learned or done since?
Dana Laird d. July 2, 2002 doored in Central Sq by SUV
July 2: Death in Central Square - R. Winters, Cambridge Civic Journal
Messenger Mailing List Archives
Natural Cycle -- Re: [messengers] From the July 3 Boston Herald
Dana Laird Day, By Jesse Gordon, July 20, 2002, Cambridge Chronicle
Boston Globe Obituary for Dana Laird
Wheel fun, or a wheel pain?
Muscular bicyclists take over Boston's streets monthly, but do they rub others the wrong way?
By Johnny Diaz, Globe Staff | August 4, 2002
On July 2, 36-year-old Dana Laird was cycling north on Massachusetts Avenue from Central Square to meet a friend at her apartment. In the 400 block of Mass Ave, the driver of a parked SUV opened his door as Laird - riding in a dedicated bike lane - was approaching. She hit the door, lost control of her bike and fell under an oncoming bus, which crushed her..
A dangerous & now deadly bicycle policy
A host of good intentions, but a lack of common sense
BY KRISTEN LOMBARDI, The BOSTON PHOENIX
Dana Laird (July 2, 2002, Cambridge, MA)
Dana Laird, a 36 year old doctoral student at Tufts, was killed in front of 501 Massachusetts Avenue when a driver opened the door of an SUV across the bike lane. She swerved, hit the door, fell, and was run over by a bus which killed her instantly. BikExprt #1, #2, #3; Boston Phoenix
Boston needs bike tracks DERRICK Z. JACKSON