14 October 2016

The "Dutch Reach" may prevent you from injuring a bicyclist


Via Deadspin.

11 comments:

  1. I libe in the Netherlands, and I've never heard of this or see anyone do this. It's also not a point that they teach with driving lessons, as far as I know.

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    Replies
    1. Well, maybe not exactly, but close enough: "1. Take the door handle with your left hand. Keep holding it to prevent wind gusts from yanking the door open when unlocking it later. [...] 3. Unlock the door with your right hand, while still holding the handle with your left hand. By keeping to this order, you encourage correct looking behavior. In this way your body has to make a quarter turn to the left, thus making looking over your left shoulder and to the side of the car an automatism."

      Whether drivers take note of this or not, fact is the dreaded launch-by-car-door happens surprisingly little, considering the humongous number of bikes we have. I agree that the term sounds pretty gross even to a native though. ;)

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  2. It seems inefficient. You must always look at the rearview mirror so you can avoid accidents with fast bikes and motorcycles.
    Dutch Reach only prevents accidents with slow bikers.

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  3. in my state, it is against the law to open your car door into oncoming traffic. what that means is that you have to make sure there is no one coming up behind you before you open your door.

    I-)

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    Replies
    1. I believe it is against the law in all states to open you door into oncoming traffic. It is also against the law to exceed the speed limit, roll through stop signs, turn right on red w/o stopping, park in a bike lane, text while driving, etc. I see these activities every day.

      I have been 'doored' twice. First time I 'just' suffered a concussion, second time a concussion and 2 broken ribs. Most motor vehicle operators do not gove a crap...

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  4. Actually, the Reach never had a name in Holland. But it is incorporated in official traffic safety code:

    Go to www.DutchReach.org and look under Advocacy Toolkit drop down menu for Dutch Law & Culture. There you will find a document with the law/code and links to the official NL website. And also to a drivers training video on safe exiting for Dutch learners.

    And it is taught, though apparently not everywhere. But Holland has made so much progress since the 'Stop the Child Murder' protests of the 1970's, and because of that protest movement, that it is now a model for intermodal road sharing internationally.

    In the USA and around the planet, many of our cities and cyclists are now confronting the problems which the Dutch protesters addressed, successfully, starting 45 years ago.

    The Reach was one of the ways the got from thousands of bike/ped deaths a year to under 200 per year now, I think.

    So while some of you may not be old enough to know this, it is true.
    Google 'Stop the Child Murder" or "Stop de Kindermoord".

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  5. Doesn't everyone look to see if a car will hit you before they open the door on the street? Well, I know not EVERYONE does it, because I suddenly had the side mirror in my lap because a girl just parked and flung the door open. But she was an outlier and it cost her dearly.

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    Replies
    1. Very few few drivers check anything before opening their door. Many are talking on the phone as they get out of the car and yell at me for existing..."Ride on the damn sidewalk," is the most common refrain.

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    2. i believe the proper response is: 'oh, yeah? why don't YOU drive on the sidewalk?'. :-)

      p.s. sorry to hear about your car-caused injuries.

      I-)

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    3. Thanks, but not caused by a car, but rather by the operator of said car.

      Delete
  6. Any cyclist will tell ya it's one of the things we all fear most- I've experienced getting "doored" almost countless times, the two times thus far it's actually happened, I was fortunate enough to be going slow enough to avoid serious injury...

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