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The Dutch Reach could help prevent dooring crashes

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Florida is warm all year around, and that means that plenty of people ride their bikes on or near the roads. There are many dangers that they face, unfortunately, and some of those include drivers who don’t watch where they’re going.

One of the major concerns for cyclists who are riding near parked vehicles or traffic that has stopped is the risk of dooring. Dooring happens when a driver or passenger opens their door into the cyclist’s path. Usually, this happens because the driver or passenger has not checked the lane or area beside them for cyclists.

Cycling crashes caused by dooring can be fatal

Dooring is more dangerous than many people believe. In fact, there is often no way for the cyclist to avoid the door, and they may not be able to slow down much (if at all). As a result, they crash directly into the door or the person getting out of the vehicle.

Think of a dooring crash like a head-on collision, because that’s what the majority of them are. Cyclists may be thrown from their bicycles and end up in the roadway where there is a potential for them to be hit again.

Is there a way to solve the problem of dooring?

Prevention and education are the two most important steps to take to eliminate dooring crashes. Drivers must be educated about dooring crashes and make sure they check around them before opening their doors. Similarly, cyclists should learn to expect that any vehicle door could open at any time, keeping them on their guard.

The technique that may work best for drivers is called the Dutch Reach. With this technique, anyone in the vehicle who plans to open a door will do so with the hand that is the furthest from the door. This encourages them to look over their shoulders and turn their bodies toward the windows, so they can see the blind spot and stop themselves from opening a door in a cyclist’s path.

It’s hoped that this technique, along with better education, may reduce or eliminate bicycle collisions in the future.