Why It’s Safer to Open Your Car Door With This Hand

Dutch ReachI’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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Why It’s Safer to Open Your Car Door With This Hand
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About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

1 Comment on "Why It’s Safer to Open Your Car Door With This Hand"

  1. Note that it is against the law in some states to exit from a parked car from the driver’s side, regardless of which hand you use. The law was a good sense approach to forcing people to not exit into the lane of travel, but now with bucket seats, the law should be amended. Until it is amended, use this suggestion.

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