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To ask you to try a Dutch reach when opening the car door?

(101 Posts)
LikeDylanInTheMovies Mon 31-Oct-16 11:41:00

Another weekend bike ride and a near miss because a driver flung open a door without looking. Normally I try and give a door's width gap, but this isn't always practical on narrow streets with cars either side.

The number of people who fling open a door without checking for a cyclist is scary. I can't do more to make myself visible. Flashing light front and rear hi-viz in daytime and reflective material for night riding. I've come to the conclusion that it is a case of people not looking rather than failing to see me.

On getting back home I discovered the 'Dutch Reach' taught by Dutch driving instructors. You open the car door using the hand furthest away from the handle. In doing so you twist you body slightly and into the line of vision of the wing mirror. I tried it this morning on my drive to work and it really works! I am usually hyper vigilant when it comes to cyclists when I'm out driving, but this is a really useful failsafe check and such an easy habit to get into.

Can I ask you all to give it a go?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 31-Oct-16 11:44:04

Not unless you want to pay for my osteopathic treatment afterwardsgrin

Areyoufree Mon 31-Oct-16 11:44:48

That's so not what I thought a 'Dutch reach' was going to be...

But I think it's a good idea!

WhirlwindHugs Mon 31-Oct-16 11:47:50

What a great idea - DH was hit by a car door recently, fortunately he wasn't going at all fast and was just shaken and minorly banged up.

LikeDylanInTheMovies Mon 31-Oct-16 12:13:19

Sorry Are you it is rather less exciting than it sounds!

Same the shift in position is almost imperceptible, but it gets you right in line with the mirror: no yoga required.

Qwerdy1234 Mon 31-Oct-16 12:16:00

I thought it was going to be something rude.

Slightly disappointed.

SoupDragon Mon 31-Oct-16 12:16:11

How is remembering to do this better or easier than remembering to look in the mirror? Surely it doesn't make you look in the mirror unless you move your eyes.

I'll have to check when I am next inmy car.

Summer23 Mon 31-Oct-16 12:19:24

Good idea 👍

LikeDylanInTheMovies Mon 31-Oct-16 12:20:18

I imagine opening the door with the furthest hand just becomes habit. Whereas people routinely forget to check their mirror before getting out. I was sceptical too, but it does force the mirror into your sightline. Well it did in my car anyway.

OdinsLoveChild Mon 31-Oct-16 12:20:40

I do actually open my door with my left hand but I have to say Ive been doing it so long now I don't actually turn round as far as you think I would. I don't notice anyone behind me at all when reaching for the door handleblush. I do have mirrors with black spot angles on them which I do check before getting out so I would like to think I would spot someone.

On a slightly different note my FIL got prosecuted for opening his car door onto a cyclist. Most of the family are well aware of this so probably are more vigilant about checking for cyclists than most.

DesignedForLife Mon 31-Oct-16 12:23:44

YANBU, people who can't should be more vigilant in checking mirrors.

I was nearly knocked off by a car that overtook me, did a sudden stop and threw the door open in front of me. Thank goodness I had good reactions!

Elendon Mon 31-Oct-16 12:24:49

What a great suggestion. I always say to passengers to hold onto the handle before opening wide, but obviously best to do it with left hand. Cyclists can also drive on the inside of a car, especially on these new designated cycle paths.

TheSconeOfStone Mon 31-Oct-16 12:31:09

YANBU. I had a passenger knock over a cyclist as he decided to get out of the car waiting at traffic lights near his house. Really shook me up. The cyclist was fine after a bit of swearing. A lady parked on the kerb tried to claim off my insurance for a rusty dent on her car she claimed was caused by the cyclist hitting it. It was my mum's car and insurance and I was really stressed about it. All avoided with this simple safety precaution.

DH cycles to work and anything to keep him safer gets my vote.

SoupDragon Mon 31-Oct-16 12:34:27

My doubts are that it should be habit to check your mirror so I'm not sure that making something else "habit" will change much and also that just bringing the mirror into your eyeline is not the same as actually checking. it's very easy to look without seeing if you aren't deliberately checking.

If it works for you though, great!

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Mon 31-Oct-16 12:40:30

It nearly happened to me a year or so back, the woman who did it jumped out of her skin as I swore loudly and skirted round her, I hope she's learnt her lesson. Checking before opening is something I am absolutely drilling into my DCs, I remind them every single time we park on a street.

IminaPickle Mon 31-Oct-16 12:41:19

Great idea, will do.

Effiewhaursmabaffies Mon 31-Oct-16 12:49:08

I live in the Netherlands, and am married to a dutch man, and I can safely say that we never open the car door like this. We always look before we open the door to check for cyclists because most of them have no sense of danger. Sorry to disappoint.

Sheusedtobesomeonelse Mon 31-Oct-16 12:51:58

When I was a child my dad was knocked off his bike and broke his leg by someone opening their car door without checking.

YANBU - i always open my door with my eyes on the mirror and as a driver & cyclist it means being careful, all the time.

The Dutch rule!

StrictlyPan Mon 31-Oct-16 12:55:19

Riding down 'door corridor' is un-nerving - trying ot look into windows of cars in a line to see if anyone is still in there is cumbersome but necessary further consideration to make in traffic.
School kids leaping out the back door of cars (bless 'em) is a particular joy for someone on a bike.

I came across this on the tweet deck a few weeks ago. I don';t do this as I am particularly viligant as someone who rides a lot in heavy traffic, and know the cost of getting it wrong.
But an excellent technique for any driver who doesn't have rider-safety as an immediate consideration.

StrictlyPan Mon 31-Oct-16 12:56:54

Effie - it allegedly started in the Netherlands - doesn't mean every person in that country does this all the time, every day.

StrictlyPan Mon 31-Oct-16 12:58:12

because most of them have no sense of danger - hmm

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 31-Oct-16 12:59:09

I always look anyway without twisting my back.

SpunkyMummy Mon 31-Oct-16 12:59:36

Dutch reach? I grew up on the continent (various countries)... but I've never heard of this reach. But it sounds a bit dirty, tbh ;)

However, I always look before I open the door.

AnnieNoMouse Mon 31-Oct-16 13:12:36

A young man died recently because a passenger in a taxi flung open a door causing the cyclist into the path of a van - passengers need educating too sad

DonttouchthatLarry Mon 31-Oct-16 13:17:46

My friend got knocked off her bike by someone doing this. What I don't understand is all these people flinging their doors open with out looking - aren't they worried about another vehicle taking the door off even if they're not concerned with the safety of cyclists?

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