Cyclists riding on busy roads face danger from all sides, but the greatest fear most bikers have is of someone opening their car door right in front of their bike. It often leaves no chance for the cyclist to swerve out of the way and can cause serious accidents that can even be deadly.
These accidents happen frequently enough that there is even a special term for them: dooring. The driver or passenger of the car is usually at fault, but if you use this simple trick, you can easily avoid causing cyclists harm.
The best way to avoid dooring accidents is to open your car door by reaching across your body with the hand furthest from door. You should do this regardless of whether you are sitting in the front or back seat.
This motion forces you to turn your body and look over your shoulder toward the street. If you do this, you’ll certainly see any bikers in time and can wait until they ride past before exiting the car.
In the Netherlands — a country famous for its bike-friendly streets — this technique is even taught in driving school. This so-called “Dutch reach” has been the norm there for years.
Check out how well it works in this video:
The advantages are clear; it’s only a matter of time before the Dutch reach catches on in other places around the world.