Most of the Indian road users do not get formal training before getting license whereas most developed nations have mandatory training that everyone has to take. One such important technique that is used in the international countries is called the “Dutch Reach”. Yes, there is a technique for opening doors to avoid accidents that cause due to an abrupt opening of the doors in crowded streets.
What can go wrong while opening the doors?
Opening the car doors can be hazardous sometimes. It may not sound like believable but below are the two accidents that happened at two different places involving the car door opening in the way.
What is happening here? In this video, a Maruti 800 can be seen parked on the side of the road. Three people on a bike can be seen in the video coming towards from behind. As the bike reaches near the parked Maruti 800, the driver suddenly opens the door of the vehicle. With no time to react, the bike hits the door and the rider loses control. The bike then hits the huge wheels of a truck coming from the opposite side. None of the three riders was wearing helmets.
What is happening here? Here is another example of the wrong opening of the door. The car driver can be seen parking the vehicle on the side of a busy undivided city road. After parking the vehicle, the driver opens the door without checking the rearview mirror. A biker who was coming from behind came close to the vehicle after seeing a bus coming from the other side and hits the car’s door. The rider loses the balance and falls on the road and misses the tyre of the bus by a shave. There would have been no way the rider would have survived the pressure of bus tyre on his body.
Can you avoid such accidents?
Absolutely! Checking the rearview mirror and opening the door when the rear is clear of any traffic or pedestrian movement can avoid such accidents. Road users can practice a technique called “Dutch Reach” that promotes the safe opening of car doors. It is a technique that originated in the Netherlands and now many countries have adopted it.
The Dutch Reach technique says that one should use the farthest hand to reach the door handle of the vehicle. For example, in India, the driver should use the left hand to reach the door handle when opening from inside. Opening the door in this way turns your body all the way towards the rear and the driver can get a glimpse of the rear of the vehicle and see if any pedestrian, cyclists or vehicle is coming from the behind. Practising Dutch reach can reduce the chance of opening the door blindly which can save oncoming vehicles, especially two wheeler riders and cyclists.