Sure, you know that moving cars are a hazard whenever you’re on your motorcycle. Distracted driving is epidemic, drowsy drivers are everywhere on their daily commutes and some people are just plain terrible drivers.
Parked cars are also a hazard for motorcyclists because a driver or a passenger will sometimes fling open their car door right into the path of an oncoming biker. When the motorcyclist can’t stop in time to avoid a collision, they’re often catapulted off their bikes, over the car door and onto the pavement. This can easily lead to serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries or paralysis.
So what can be done about the danger? Teach everyone you know about the “Dutch Reach.”
The Dutch Reach is a term that’s used to remind people inside vehicles that they should reach for a car door with the hand opposite the door. This forces people on the driver’s side of the vehicle to reach with their right hands, while anybody on the passenger side of a vehicle will reach with their left.
What does that accomplish? Well, it means that the person reaching for the door will automatically twist their body in a way that causes them to look backward, over their shoulder. That way, they are in a better position to automatically spot an oncoming motorcyclist.
While you can’t educate everyone out there on your own, you can do your part to get the word out and help make the Dutch Reach part of “standard operating procedure” whenever someone is about to exit a parked car. That may someday save your life or the life of someone you love.
If you are a motorcyclist injured in an accident after someone opens their car door in your path, you may have to assert your right to a claim for compensation. Your medical bills and lost wages can be considerable — and an attorney can help you.