Most people look at their car doors and consider them as nothing more than a way to enter and exit their vehicle. Others give them more thought, choosing to buy a car with airbags in the door or using the doors to install extra speakers.
However, few drivers think about their doors’ dangers to people traveling by bicycle, E-bike, scooter, moped or motorcycle.
Is it the door or the driver that is dangerous?
The door is a sheet of solid metal, strong enough to stop anyone on a two-wheeled vehicle in their tracks. They could be knocked down or thrown over the door. Often they land in the path of another vehicle.
Yet, the doors are not a problem when closed and flush with the side of the car. It is only when someone inside the vehicle opens them without looking that they become dangerous.
How can people inside a vehicle open the door safely?
All people have to do is look before opening it. The Netherlands came up with a way to increase the chance people did this a long time ago. It is known as the Dutch Reach, and in 2018, Illinois added it to its driving manual.
All it requires is that people open the door with their inside hand rather than the one closest to the door. To do that, they must reach across their body, which naturally causes their torso and head to turn toward the back of the car. It is then much simpler to spot anyone approaching on two wheels.
What if someone that doors me says they had never heard of it?
Whether someone that injures you by dooring you has heard of the rule is irrelevant. Everyone has always had a responsibility to check if it is safe to open the door before doing so, and you have the right to seek compensation.