Cars and motorcycles can be classified as heavy machinery and to use them properly, proper training is needed. However, in India, people seldom go through any training process when it comes to acquiring a driving license and operate a vehicle legally. Even small things like opening the door of the car can be dangerous if not done in the right way. Suddenly opening the door of the vehicle can cause injuries to motorists or pedestrians coming from behind and people might open the door unknowingly.
There are many videos that show wrong opening of car door causing injuries or accidents on the streets. This type of accident is not only limited to India but is quite common in developed countries too. Here is a video that shows how dangerous it is to open the door suddenly on a busy street and how it can cause major accidents.
The CCTV footage above shows a car getting parked at the side of a busy road. The driver of the car suddenly opens the door that gets in the way of a cycle. The cyclist loses his balance and has a bad fall. Luckily, he escapes with a few bruises.
If only, the driver of the vehicle had seen the cycle coming from behind, he would have definitely waited for the cyclist to pass. Most of us do not check the rear view mirror before opening the door, which can cause similar incidents. In many countries, opening the door on the side of the road is completely illegal to avoid such incidents. However, there is no such rule in India. All we can do is practice a better technique to ensure that we avoid any such incidents.
Dutch Reach is a technique that is taught at every school in the Netherlands. It is a safer way of opening the door of the vehicle by ensuring that there is no one coming from the blind spot. If the Dutch Reach becomes a habit, such incidents can be avoided altogether.
The video explaining Dutch Reach shows how it is done correctly. The idea is to use the far-end arm to open the door of the car. For example, if the door is on your left-hand side, you should use your right hand to pull the interior handle of the car and open the door. This way, the body completely moves towards the rear of the vehicle and eyes can see all the blind spot. This technique guarantees you a view of the rear of the vehicle. This way, one can always see what’s behind and perfectly time the opening of the door.