Nearly every cyclist has had to, at times, swerve out of the way to avoid drivers or passengers opening their car doors. Doing so is dangerous, and there is often no way to stop from crashing into or over the car door. But getting doored can be avoided thanx to this simple solution called the Dutch Reach!
Popularized in the Netherlands, the Dutch Reach is a method taught in Dutch driver education. As demonstrated in this video by OutsideOnline, the Dutch Reach encourages drivers exiting their vehicles to use their far hand to open their car doors. Sounds easy, well with a little practice this could actually save a life. Here’s why…
If you are a driver or driver-side passenger in South Africa, you probably naturally open the door with your right hand. However, with the Dutch Reach, you reach across your body to open the door with your left hand, which momentarily forces your body to turn and face backward enabling you to check your mirrors and look over your shoulder for oncoming cyclists. If you’re getting out on the passenger side, simply open the door with your right hand instead of your left.
This simple twist allows you to see cyclists, cars, or pedestrians you may have otherwise missed.
Start using the Dutch Reach yourself, share it with your friends and let’s encourage more drivers to go Dutch and make sharing the road safer for all.