How to Remember to Use the Dutch Reach

One of the most common types of bicycling accidents, called a “dooring accident,” happens when a motorist or passenger opens the door of a parked car into the path of an oncoming cyclist. For obvious reasons, this situation is a recipe for disaster for the bicyclist. In fact, many bicyclists have died or suffered catastrophic and permanent injuries because a motorist or passenger negligently opened a car door into a cyclist.

The dangers of dooring accidents were not lost on the Dutch, who have been fond of bicycling — and bicycle-friendly laws and practices — for many years. In response to this problem, the Dutch created a special practice to keep bicyclists out of harm’s way. It’s called the “Dutch Reach.” As long as Americans remember to use this helpful practice, it could save countless lives and prevent numerous accidents every year.

A few tips that will help you and your family to remember the Dutch Reach

When you’ve spent years riding in cars and driving cars, it’s hard to remember to use a new safety technique like the Dutch Reach. However, with the following tips and tricks, you may never forget to use it again:

Practice it every day: Police academy experts claim that building the Dutch Reach into your driving and riding habits takes approximately 30 days. All you have to do is use the Dutch Reach every day when you drive for a month, and then you’ll have it as a permanent safety habit.

Try it when you don’t need to do it: Try practicing the Dutch Reach again and again, even when you don’t need to do it. Teach your kids to do the Dutch Reach too and supervise them practicing the maneuver. Teach everyone in your family to police each other to ensure they’re doing it right.

Tie a ribbon on your door handle: Try putting a ribbon on your door handles to remind your family to do the Dutch Reach. Make it something curious and strange so passengers ask about it, and this will remind you to teach new people in your vehicle.

Were you hurt in a dooring accident?

If you’re a bicyclist who was hurt in a dooring accident, your accident and injuries were probably not your fault, and there’s a chance that a civil court will side with you on the matter. As such, you might want to learn more about Texas personal injury law and various steps required to pursue financial justice and restitution in court.


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