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Could the “Dutch reach” approach reduce bicycle accidents?

Posted by Brad Ponder | Oct 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

Bicyclists often find themselves involved in many near misses. For example, as a bicyclist nears a driveway, a driver may pull into the driveway too fast and without looking. An alert bicyclist may come to a stop before colliding, but many Washington, DC bicyclists could end up hurt in a crash. Similarly, bicyclists traveling in a bike lane might get hit by a driver opening the car's door. Perhaps following the “Dutch method” may keep such collisions from occurring.

The Dutch strategy for preventing avoidable door mishaps

The “Dutch Reach” method of opening a car door is a kind of inverted door opening approach. Instead of opening the car door with the hand closest to the handle, the driver uses the opposite hand. Opening a car door this way might be a bit uncomfortable, but it comes with a benefit. Specifically, reaching for the door handle with the opposite hand may torque the body and head. The position change might give a driver a better view of the street and is nearing the vehicle.

If the driver uses the Dutch Reach and sees a bicyclist, he or she could wait to open the door. Once the bicyclist passes, the coast might become clear.

Door accidents and bicyclist injuries

A bicyclist doesn't need to travel at a high rate of speed to suffer a severe injury after a “dooring” incident. If knocked off the bike, the bicyclist could suffer a fracture or even a traumatic brain injury. Brain injuries may even result in death.

Motor vehicle accidents involving bicyclists may lead to investigation over who was at fault. A careless driver who swings a door open could face a lawsuit for any harm inflicted.

Bicyclists may benefit from being careful on the road. Hitting a door could be the bicyclist's fault, and a property damage claim might ensue. A personal injury scenario could ensue when a bicyclist hits a car. So, being careful may benefit everyone.

About the Author

Brad Ponder

Brad specializes in complex litigation, including class actions and mass torts in both state and federal court. He represents consumer and business owners in a variety of lawsuits, including class actions and high-stakes litigation against major corporations. 


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