A friend just posted on Facebook about how he was ‘doored’ riding his bike in the LA area. Fortunately, he was only moving at about 15 mph, so he wasn’t hurt badly — just some scrapes and bruises. He said his head hit the pavement when he was flipped forward after hitting the car door which suddenly swung open, but he was wearing a helmet. The impact damaged it, instead of his head.
He also mentioned something called the Dutch Reach, which I had not heard of, but this explainer video shows how it can prevent accidents and injuries, and even save lives.
If you use the Dutch Reach, you open a car door with the hand which is further from the door, not the one close to it. If you use this hand, you have to reach across the front of your body somewhat, which turns your head towards the window where you can check to see if a bike rider is coming. If you see one, you can stop opening the door until she/he passes, so you don’t swing the door into the rider.
Reportedly, doorings are one of the most common bike-to-vehicle types of accidents in urban areas. If this is true, it’s probably not surprising to anyone. That a free, simple, and effective maneuver to reduce doorings exists and can be adopted very easily might be.
Of course, using the Dutch Reach might also help to prevent vehicle doorings for some scooter, electric biker riders, and motorcyclists too.
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