What is the safest way to open a car door?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Personal Injury

Car doors present a serious threat to cyclists. A person opening a door to get out of their vehicle could knock them to the ground if they are not careful.

Careless door opening is estimated to account for around ten percent of vehicle-bicycle collisions annually and some of those accidents are fatal.

Using the inside hand

The Dutch Reach is a method that many driving schools now teach to reduce the chance that motorists door cyclists. Drivers and passengers should get in the habit of using it. Instead of using the hand nearest the door, as many people naturally do to open their door, they should use the hand further away from the door they want to open.

Using the inside hand forces a person to turn their body and head to the rear of the vehicle. That gives them a far better chance of noticing any approaching cyclists and halting in time, rather than opening the door into their path.

Some might argue that cyclists should be alert to doors opening, and they certainly should, but it is not always possible to predict how a car user will behave. It’s not even always possible to tell if a car is occupied.

While cyclists should take care, the bigger responsibility lies on those in the car. They have a duty to act with care toward other road users. If they don’t and they injure you with their door, you can seek legal guidance to find out more about claiming compensation for any costs they cause you.