When someone is on a bike or a motorcycle, there are a dozen different ways that they can get hurt. While you’re probably conscious of their danger, you may not realize that you could be part of the problem — just by opening the door of your vehicle the wrong way.
If you want to reduce the chances that you can cause a serious accident (or be in one someday yourself when you’re biking) it’s time to learn more about the Dutch Reach. Then, spread the words to others.
What’s the Dutch Reach?
It’s a simple, effective way to reduce the chances that you’ll “door” a bicyclist on accident.
Most of the time, people just open the door of a vehicle with the hand nearest the door handle. A much better way to open a car door is by using the hand that’s opposite the handle instead. This automatically forces you to turn your shoulder and head as you do it — and that makes it much easier to spot a bicyclist, motorcyclist or even another vehicle coming upon you.
In study after study, it’s estimated that dooring accounts for between one-fifth and one-sixth of all bicycle crashes. That’s significant, especially since it’s entirely preventable with better care.
What are the consequences of dooring?
When a cyclist gets doored, they can be seriously hurt or killed. Most are abruptly thrown to the pavement, which means they can suffer head injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones and more. Some are killed.
Learning the Dutch Reach and spreading the word to your family, friends and passengers is the best way to prevent this kind of tragedy.
When a bicyclist is seriously injured, it’s important for them to speak help with their claims. An experienced attorney can assist.