“Being doored” by cars is an unfortunate experience for city cyclists. Driver’s unintentional actions may lead to a tragedy.
Well, recently, the so-called “Dutch Reach” sweeps through the social media, a practice that can keep cyclist from danger, especially now that bike-sharing service is taking off in many cities.
What is “Dutch Reach”?
“Dutch Reach” is imported from the Dutch and this is how it gets its name. The practice suggests that both drivers and passengers use their far hand and bring their arms across the body to open the door. It forces the drivers and passengers to swivel shoulder and head so that they can see if there are bikes coming from behind before opening the door.
There is a website called “Dutch Reach Project” (http://www.dutchreach.org/), which aims to promote the Dutch method to prevent doorings. It gives an demonstration of the practice. The procedures are concluded as “Reach, Swivel, Look out & back, Open slowly”.
It is learned that “Dutch Reach” has been commonsense in Dutch for 50 years. It is also taught in drivers ed training.
Other techniques to avoid “being doored”
1. Park your cars to the right (in China) and in the assigned space.
2. Look out in your rearview mirrors to see if there’re bikes or pedestrians coming from behind.
3. Open the door a bit first and watch out for the traffic.
4. Bikers and pedestrians should also keep cars parked at the roadside at a distance in case that the cars’ doors are opened when you pass by.