As a driver in Berlin, I was in mortal danger


BerlinTrue, in traffic I am a swear word. Whether it’s cycling, walking, or, in rare cases, when I’m behind the wheel of a car, another mode of transportation (not necessarily people) is usually to blame when traffic is poorer.

Of course, this is a more ironic approach than I take completely seriously. Mastering an open street in Berlin on a daily basis requires survival strategies. One of my strategies is to swear at myself and sometimes at other times.

I’m not the only one. Traffic jams and intersections often seem to me like great places for city dwellers to relieve stress, where many just spend everything. The sound is certainly not always appropriate, but usually no one hears it. And thankfully, often nothing happens. That is as more than 7,000 bicycle accidents a year show, often something happens. In Berlin. And sometimes something almost happens. At least then it seems to me that cursing is really appropriate.

Last week, I was barely in my hair since being included in the Berlin door stats. I read about it in rbb this week: since 2018, on average, a cyclist has had an accident every day because the car door has suddenly been ripped open.

6.5 percent of bicycle accidents – through the car door from the right

According to Rbb, 8.3 percent Radun cases in category “Doors”: 6.5 per cent of victims are hit from the right, ie from the driver’s door, and 1.8 per cent from the passenger door. What a horror show. The cyclist is stopped, blocked, forced to meander – or, in the worst case, he hits the object with such force that he does a flip on the road.

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As if that weren’t too bad, in this type of accident, the head bends over other parts of the body, making the concept and reality of opening the door even more horrific.

So last Tuesday I drove from Kreuzberg to Neukölln. I travel this route almost asleep, it used to be part of my commute. It passes through Mittenwalder Strasse, a not very wide but busy street. The hustle and bustle of trucks, cars, bicycles, pedestrians, couriers and electronic scooters is more reminiscent of a fairground than a reflection of traffic rules. It sounds, flashes and claps from all sides.

A distance of less than 80 centimeters? Complicity!

The bikes are driven on the road, the ground is at least smooth concrete and is not needed fights one of the root-infected sidewalks (off topic). The bike lane is not marked all the way, and it is sometimes difficult to keep your distance from parked cars, especially as various other vehicles pass on the left.

However – as I said, I’m already terrible knocking on the door – I prefer to drive a little further down the road than cars that are too close. It is better to tease moving cars than to hit the door.

That’s fine, now I’m reading rbb: If a cyclist holds less than 80 inches, she would even be partly to blame for opening the door.

However, the distance will not completely prevent the door from hitting. So while I’m maneuvering along Mittenwalder, a few meters in front of me – ten or twenty? – the door of the white van is jerking.

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Avoid? Desperate. So complete braking.

My rear wheel goes up a bit – no kidding – and I stop when there is just a millimeter between the front tire and the gray inner door of the car.

Breathe. I could already see my cheeks scratching over the asphalt.

My gaze wanders from the hand of a sparsely haired man lying on the handle of the door, his narrow hand up and on the mustache of the young guy. We are uncomfortably close for half a second.

Rbb recommends a trick for drivers

I look at that face distrustfully. He is sweating because Berlin is behaving this week like August. Maybe because of adrenaline. The driver starts to get out, turns away from me and, without looking at me, mutters, “Sorry.” As he pushes through the front wheel, I remain petrified.

“Sorry, that’s not enough,” I said. I probably also say “age” or something like that. I’m angry. Will this Slag get away with the careless “Sorry” now?

The useless one just shrugs. Almost bypassed the front of your car, probably has something to deliver, is one, has …

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