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Learn the Dutch Reach and save a bicyclist's life

Dooring accidents happen when a motorist opens the door of his or her vehicle into the path of an oncoming bicyclist. As you can imagine, if the bicyclist is riding fast enough, and the timing is such that he or she can't react in time, the consequences can be catastrophic.

Numerous bicyclists suffer serious, debilitating, disabling and even fatal accidents as a result of dooring incidents every year. However, the Dutch have a solution. It's called the "Dutch Reach" and if every vehicle driver and passenger learned this simple trick, it would render dooring accidents a thing of the past.

How does the Dutch Reach work?

The Dutch Reach is an exceedingly simple technique that every child in Holland is taught while growing up in school. They've been doing the Dutch Reach for decades, and bicyclists in the country have benefited immensely through the countless accidents avoided.

Here's how you can do the dutch reach:

The technique involves opening your vehicle door with your far hand. If you're a right side passenger, you reach across yourself with your left hand to open the door on the right side. If you're on the driver's side of the car, you reach across with your right hand to open the door on the left side.

What does the Dutch Reach do?

Essentially, the Dutch Reach forces you to twist your body around making it exceedingly easy to look behind you for any signs of an oncoming bicyclist. It also allows you to crack the door open slowly, so you don't blindly swing it out to potentially collide with someone approaching you quickly on a bicycle.

The Dutch Reach is that easy. According to the Dutch Reach Project, which is promoting the technique in Europe.

Save lives and avoid accident liability

When drivers and passengers use the Dutch Reach, they are potentially saving a life or potentially saving a bicyclist from catastrophic injury. They may also be saving themselves from financial liability. That's because, if a driver negligently opens his or her door and causes a car accident, the driver will likely be the one to blame.

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