Bike lanes provide bikers the chance of riding alongside cars without the fear of injury. Not every road accommodates the use of bikes, which may cause bikers to ride inches away from passing and parked cars alike.
If someone in a parked car suddenly opens a door in front of a biker, the biker may be sent flying into the pavement, leading to possible spinal or head-related injuries.
Cyclists aren’t always prepared for a sudden obstacle to appear in front of their bike, so it is often the role of the person in the car to look for oncoming bikers. Here’s how motorists can protect bikers from serious or fatal injuries:
Motorists should use the ‘Dutch reach’ technique
The “Dutch reach” technique is used by motorists to reduce the chances of injuring cyclists. Most people open their car door with the closest hand, which gives low visibility to oncoming bikers.
The Dutch reach is done by using the furthest hand from the car door to exit the vehicle. That means, if you are on the driver’s side or left side of the vehicle then you will use your right hand to open the door. Passengers on the right side of the vehicle will use their left hand to open the door.
In practice, your torso will turn by using your opposite hand just enough to allow you to see any bikers that may suddenly ride past you. The Dutch reach can be used by both people in the front and back of the vehicle.
If you or someone you love was recently injured by a negligent motorist then you may need to know your legal options to pay for medical bills and recover your losses.