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The ‘Dutch Reach’ Can Save Dooring Accidents
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16th August 2018 Posted by Nina Choicegroup No comments
Filed in: Lifestyle

Urban bikers, both pedal and motor powered, encounter many dangers, Path-clogging pedestrians and reckless drivers are among the most obvious, but bikers also face an under-the-radar road risk called “dooring”; the collision that results when a parked driver opens their car door into an oncoming biker’s path.

It’s hard to determine just how often they occur. However, US Department of Transportation data from 2011 found that one in five bike crashes in Chicago were caused by dooring that year. To prevent dooring accidents, drivers in the Netherlands rely on a simple practice that’s been dubbed the “Dutch Reach” After parking, they reach for their car door’s handle using their right arm instead of their left one, even though the latter is closer to the door (right hand side driving).

This method forces the drivers to pivot their bodies so they look over their shoulders, allowing them to notice incoming bikers on the street. Children in the Netherlands learn this habit from their teachers and parents, and it’s even included in their driving tests. Considerable international interest in the term and method followed its coinage, suggesting that the far hand method was little known across the globe. Press, electronic media and internet news coverage about the Dutch Reach method has now occurred in numerous countries, including China, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Korea.


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