I’d never thought of this tip until I read this article in Reader’s Digest. The “Dutch Reach” was created in the Netherlands and there’s even a safety advocacy group, DutchReach.org, trying to help it go mainstream since it can really save lives.
“If you are sitting on the driver’s side of a parked car and want to get out, don’t open the door with your door-side (left) hand as you’re intuitively prepared to — instead, open the door with your right hand. This simple motion causes you to pivot your entire upper body as you reach, first drawing your line of sight past by your rear-view mirror, and then out to the street behind you.”
This simple tip really works, as I found when I tried it the other day. I’ve had some close calls not only with bicycles but motorcycles and even cars, too. The “Dutch Reach” can also be used on the passenger’s side—as well as in countries where the driver’s and passenger’s sides in cars are flipped (in the UK, for example). As the article says, “the trick is just to use the hand furthest from the door to ensure an upper-body pivot.
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