Bicyclists have the right to enjoy the same roads that drivers use. Unfortunately, drivers don’t always prioritize the safety of bicyclists. Even those who take steps to keep cyclists safe while they’re driving might not think about safety when they stop.
“Dooring” is a major problem for bicyclists. This occurs when a motorist or passenger in a vehicle opens their door as the bicyclist is riding past. The door can strike the bicyclist, which may throw them off the bike or cause injuries. Preventing dooring is necessary since it can lead to significant injuries for the bicyclist.
What is a Dutch reach?
One quick thing that drivers can do to prevent dooring is using the Dutch reach when they exit their vehicles. For people on the driver’s side of the vehicle, this means opening the door with the right hand. For people on the passenger side of the car, this involves opening the door with the left hand.
The key here is that body has to twist so they can check behind the vehicle to see if there are bicycles coming near them before they open the doors. This simple step can vastly improve bicyclist safety when they have to ride near parked vehicles.
All bicyclists who are injured by vehicles should ensure they get the medical care they need. Since the consequences of a dooring accident can be severe, it’s also important to pursue compensation for their injuries and losses. If you’ve been hurt in a dooring incident, find out more about your legal options as soon as possible.