Cityvisitor blog

Reach out and be nice on the roads

The way we open our car doors can really save lives.

This message has been highlighted by the group Cycling UK after figures from the Department for Transport showed that between 2011 and 2015 there were 3108 people were injured, eight fatally, by something that is known as ‘car dooring’.

As a driver, I was really grateful for this campaign; I know I don’t want to be responsible for the injury or death of a cyclist.

By opening our car doors without looking when parked on the side of the road, we are causing a huge danger to cyclists. I must admit, it is not something I had ever really thought about before.

Cycling UK has pointed out that in the Netherlands, a method called Dutch reach (taught during driver training) is the solution. The method simply involves teaching drivers to lean across and open their door with the hand furthest away from the door, forcing them to look around to see what is coming before they swing the door open.

Paul Tuohy, Cycling UK’s Chief Executive explains: “Some people seem to see car dooring as a bit of a joke, but it’s not and can have serious consequences

“Cycling UK wants to see greater awareness made about the dangers of opening your car door negligently, and people to be encouraged to look before they open.”

I am sure most drivers have found themselves feeling slightly irritated by having to drive slowly behind a cyclist when they are in a hurry. Equally, cyclists often have to deal with selfish and even sometimes aggressive behaviour towards them on the roads. Come on everyone, let’s find a way to be patient with each other and share our roads nicely.


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