Automobiles are one of the most powerful machines that are accessible to many without the need of any proper training. However, there are a few things that we sometimes do wrongly and it can hurt you as well as others. One such example is opening the door of the car. It is something that most of us do regularly and you’ll be surprised to know that most of us do it wrongly! How? Well, read on.
The first thing that we do after stopping the car is open the door. That’s an instinct and it happens so fast that we do not even realise how dangerous it can be to the others and you. Parking the vehicle on a busy street or any other road and opening the door without checking for traffic, cyclists and pedestrians can cause serious damage. Most of us do not even check if someone is coming from behind and open the door. There have been many instances when such a move has caused accidents that have resulted in deaths too.
These kinds of instances are quite common in India and in many developed countries too where the drivers otherwise follow the traffic rules strictly and maintain the lane discipline. The video above shows footage from a dashboard camera of another car in a foreign country. The video shows a car parked and the occupant coming out of the vehicle without checking for pedestrians and other vehicles coming from behind. A cyclist can be seen entering the video and hitting the semi-opened door. The life of the cyclist could have been in danger if there was another vehicle coming from behind. Also, it should be noted that the occupant coming out of the car and the vehicle itself could have hurt badly if it was a bigger vehicle or a motorcycle.
Imagine that happening to you while walking on the road or cycling on the road. While there are a few luxury cars that offer features to warn the occupant about the vehicles or pedestrians coming from behind, most cars sold around the world do not offer any such feature. So how do you go around this problem? There is a safe way of opening the doors and it is called the Dutch Reach! Read all about it here.
The Dutch Reach
The Dutch reach was developed in the Netherlands. Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands has more cycles than the number of people living there. To protect the pedestrians and cyclists from any such mishap, the technique was developed and is taught to the school children too. It is a safer way to open the car doors.
The video explains how the Dutch Reach works and how it saves others on the roads. The technique is to use the far hand to open the door. Which means that if you want to open the door and the door is to your left, you need to use your right hand to reach the door and open it. Same goes for the door on your right. You need to use the left hand to open the door on your right. What happens is when using this technique, your body moves towards the back and you are able to see any pedestrian, cycle or vehicle is approaching your car. Practise this daily and make getting in and out of the vehicle an incident-free task!