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Why should people think twice before opening car doors?

If you ride a bicycle or motorcycle, you have probably experienced someone open their vehicle door across your path. Car dooring accidents are widespread, but they are also easily avoidable.

All it requires is for car users to change how they open their doors.

What is the Dutch Reach?

Think about how you typically open a vehicle door to get out. You probably use the hand closest to the door. Hopefully, you turn your head to check it is clear to do so before proceeding. Yet, many people do not because it takes effort to turn your head.

Now imagine you reach for the door handle with the opposite hand. See how it shifts your body, turning your head around at the same time? You might be able to open the door a little way without much body movement, yet, once you run out of reach, the only way to open the door enough to exit is to rotate. Hence, you have to look behind if you want to get out. You are more likely to spot a cyclist or motorcyclist about to pass when you do that.

The technique is called the Dutch Reach as that is where it originated, but authorities across the world are catching on to its benefits.

It might be impossible to brake in time if a car driver or passenger opens their door across your path. The open door might knock you down, or it might send you flying over the door. Either way could result in injuries that are not your fault. Understanding how to hold the person responsible and get compensation will be crucial.