You may be set in your ways when it comes to opening the car door. I know I was before I saw this video! But have you considered that opening the door the way you do may actually be dangerous?
The Dutch Reach is a technique used to avoid accidents in relation to opening car doors. You might be thinking it sounds complicated, but it’s actually very simple.
Bicyclists being struck by someone opening a car door, also referred to as ‘dooring’, is, according to The League of the American Bicyclists, the most common type of bicyclist-vehicle collision, especially in bigger cities. And in 2011, the Daily Mail reported that 600 cyclists in the UK are injured every year because of dooring accidents.
The technique consists of opening the car door by reaching across the body with the hand that’s farther from the door. Basically, don’t open the door with the hand you probably normally open with — use the other one. That may not sound like much of difference, but this forces you to look over your shoulder while you open the door, making you more aware if there is a bicyclist coming the other way.
Watch this video to see how it’s done:
In the Netherlands, all drivers learn this technique before receiving their license. This should be compulsory for all countries, but until then, use this technique and keep your eyes open for bicyclists!