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Why should drivers use the Dutch Reach?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2023 | Auto Accident Injuries

The Dutch Reach is a technique that can help reduce the chance a driver or passenger opens their door into the path of an oncoming cyclist. It’s incredibly simple, costs nothing and can potentially save someone’s life.

It originated in the Netherlands but has since been adopted into the driving curriculum by governments in many countries, including those of several states in the United States.

Here is how it works

To open your car door, you use the hand furthest away from that door instead of the one closest to it. This forces you to turn your body around and, with it, your head, making it much easier to spot a cyclist (or, for that matter, motorcyclist) who is approaching on that side

It can take a bit of getting used to for a car user who is used to opening car doors with the closest hand all their life, but it is definitely worth making the effort to change that habit. Unlike people inside a car, cyclists have no protection and are incredibly vulnerable in a collision. A car door opening into their path could be enough to send them flying, and if the fall itself does not seriously injure or kill them, falling into the path of another vehicle certainly could.

Drivers have a responsibility toward all other road users, not just those in other motor vehicles. If they fail to take sufficient care and end up injuring you or a loved one, then you’ll need to learn more about your legal options.