During our travels in the fair city of Key West, a driver parked at the curb opened his pickup truck door as I passed. Timing and size was all that really save me from a serious crash. If I had passed his door just 1 second later, his door would have been fully open and I would have come to a rapid and complete stop. If his truck was not a 1 ton, over-sized wheeled compensation for machismo, then his door would have struck something more weighty and substantial on the bike.
As it was, only my mirror, brake lever, and handle bar weight struck his door. I got the bike stopped about 6 feet past the driver's door without going down. I turned and uttered the first thing that came to mind, which was, "Why did you do that?" which really didn't have an answer.
The driver's response: "I was just getting out of my truck. I'm sorry I didn't see you." I said something like, "You never looked!"
And then he said something he regretted: "Well, you have to own some of the responsibility, here." I looked at him in disbelief. "Oh, you did not say that!" Silence.
Well, I was uninjured, the bike was still upright, and he did say he was sorry. So I shook my head and rode away.
A little whopper-jawed but nothing that can't be straightened.
He was partly right. I did have to take ownership for some of this. As a defensive rider, I need to be preparred for careless actions like his. While many states and some cities have laws and ordinances restricting exiting a vehicle into the street, we all do it and its something all riders need watch.
At least I got an apology.