Caring and Competent Representation Across New Mexico

What is the “Dutch Reach?”

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Cyclists are often at a disadvantage when it comes to safety. Airbags and seatbelts in cars often protect drivers and passengers, but cyclists are often only protected by a thin layer of plastic on their heads, hands, knees and elbows. When a cyclist gets in an accident they are more likely to suffer serious and fatal accidents than people in vehicles. 

Furthermore, cyclists often have to share road space with vehicles. Drivers typically have to take responsibility for their actions to make the roads safe for cyclists since even a parked car can be dangerous for cyclists.

One common accident that many cyclists suffer from is dooring. What is dooring and how can drivers prevent it from happening?

Saving cyclists from severe injuries with one simple move

Dooring happens when a vehicle door opens in front of a cyclist. Cyclists often don’t have enough time to react to the sudden obstacle. As a result, they may crash into the door and be thrown off their bike, causing them to suffer severe head and spine injuries. In some cases, vehicle passengers can suffer injuries from the collided cyclist. 

Dooring happens so often that a technique was made to help reduce the number of accidents. This technique is called the “Dutch Reach.” 

The Dutch Reach is done by using the furthest hand to open a car door from inside. When passengers use the furthest hand from the door, they’ll reach over their chest and turn their torso. The passenger should then turn enough to see if there’s any oncoming traffic. If passengers see a cyclist approaching, then they can wait until the cyclist passes before opening the door.

The Dutch Reach has saved lives, but many people don’t know just how important the technique can be. Cyclists suffering from dooring accidents may need to learn about their legal rights so that they can seek appropriate compensation for their injuries and other losses.