No, it’s not a plea for learning another language, it’s a technique that might save lives or at least reduce injury.

Some time back, we wrote of the Dutch Reach.  This is actually a manoeuvre used in Holland where there are many cyclists. It is being promoted as a means of motorists looking out for cyclists and trying to prevent car doors being opened into the path of cyclists, causing them to ride into them and in many incidences, become seriously injured often with a head or brain injury causing permanent and life-changing injuries.

With the Highway Code being overhauled with cyclists safety well to the fore, it has been in the news again, so we thought there was no harm in highlighting it again.

When we open a car door as a driver, we tend to use our right arm to do so.  Some of us may take a quick look in our mirrors before opening the door, but many don’t and so if a cyclist is overtaking a parked car, then it is all too easy to open the door into their path.  Even if we do look in our mirrors, the cyclist could be in our blind spot.  The cyclist then cannons into the door and is thrown, usually head first into the road, or even worse, in to the path of on-coming traffic, potentially causing a wider pile-up and injuries to a greater number of people.

The same could apply to pedestrians and passengers opening doors.

So as a way of trying to preventor lessen such accidents, we are promoting the use of the Dutch Reach.

What you do is that instead of opening a door using your right arm (or left, if you are a passenger, supposing a right hand drive car), is you use your OPPOSITE arm to open the door.  By doing so, you are forced to turn in your seat and you can then take a quick look behind for any hazards, as you would do when preparing to overtake, to make sure there are no vehicles to your side or in your blind spot before you open your door.

It’s a very quick and simple movement and one that you could get in to the habit of doing almost as a reflex once you get used to it. You could put a little reminder notice on your car doors to do so.

Something that takes seconds for you as a driver could mean the prevention of life- long injuries for more vulnerable road users. That’s why Ringrose Law are happy to promote it’s use!



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