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Car drivers can keep cyclists safer just by changing how they open their doors

| Apr 26, 2021 | Pedestrian Accidents |

No driver wants to cause a serious accident — but there are plenty of pitfalls out there on the roads. As spring turns into summer, one of those dangers will be an increasing number of bicyclists all around.

When the occupants of passenger vehicles open their doors into the road, there’s a significant chance they could do so directly into the path of an oncoming cyclist. Getting “doored” can be deadly for the cyclist. All it takes to prevent this kind of accident, however, is learning the “Dutch Reach.”

What is the Dutch Reach?

The Dutch Reach is a safer way of opening car doors — and it’s incredibly effective and simple.

To use the Dutch Reach, you need to open the vehicle’s door with your most-opposite hand. Most people open car doors with the hand they have nearest the door. When you do this, you need to make a conscious effort to look back to ensure it is clear.

When you use the hand furthest away from your door, it forces you to turn your body and your head in a way that automatically lets you look over your shoulder. It makes it easier to spot a cyclist and avoid opening the door into their path. 

The Dutch Reach will not prevent all bicycle accidents. Yet, even if it saves one life or prevents one cyclist from being seriously injured, it is hard to justify not using it. 

What happens if you’re a cyclist who was injured in a “dooring” accident?

Accidents can happen in a flash — and the injuries you suffer by being doored can last a lifetime. If you were injured by a negligent driver, you may have the ability to recover compensation for your losses. An attorney can help you learn more.

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