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How can the Dutch Reach reduce dooring accidents?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accident

Dooring refers to a driver or passenger opening a door into the path of an oncoming cyclist or motorcyclist. Typically, it ends with the rider being knocked off or flying over the top of the door, but can also result in them swerving into traffic. Injuries can vary due in part to their speed at the time. They might just suffer a few bruises, but they could also die.

Car users can avoid dooring by checking that it is safe to open before doing so. This is where the Dutch Reach comes in.

The Dutch Reach is a safer way to open a door

The technique originated in the Netherlands, a country known for prioritizing cycling safety and infrastructure. It requires opening the door with the hand furthest from the door. Most people open their car door with their nearest hand. They can do this while continuing to look forward, so they must proactively remember to turn their head and check for oncoming two-wheeled vehicles. There’s a better way.

Opening with the hand furthest from the door forces a person to turn their body and head rearward, making it much more likely that they’ll spot anyone approaching from behind. It costs nothing and could save a life. Many U.S. driving schools are now teaching it as standard practice, but many people took driving lessons long before it was on the syllabus and may continue opening with the outside hand.

If someone injures you with their door, they should have done more to check it was safe first. You should be able to claim compensation for the injuries they’ve caused you. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.