A really simple change is saving thousands of cyclists every year

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Tuesday 11 October 2016 15:45
(Getty Images)

There's a technique from the Netherlands that could stop thousands of drivers hitting cyclists with their car doors.

The accident known as 'dooring' - when a driver opens their door into the road and hits an oncoming cyclist - is a daily occurrence.

Obviously, most drivers are eager to avoid this for the sake of other human beings, plus it's illegal. So not being arrested is a good motive.

According to ONS figures, 2016 has seen an increase of 5 per cent in the number of fatalities or serious injuries for cyclists on the road.

'Dooring' is hard to prevent when cycle lanes often place bikes between parked cars and traffic.

The existing ways of reducing 'dooring' include creating cyclepaths and superhighways separate from the road as in London, or else cyclists using the middle of the road.

The cost of moving routes or building new ones is excessive, and it cannot be guaranteed that cyclists can always keep pace with moving traffic.

A technique known as 'The Dutch Reach' is completely free, and easy, for drivers to undertake.

The 'reach' involves drivers using their hand which is furthest from the door to open it.

The motion across the body means the driver turns, looking back out of the window, increasing the odds they will see an oncoming cyclist, either in the wing mirror or once their head has turned to open the door.

In the Netherlands it has proven so effective that there is no word for 'dooring' and 'the reach' is just part of driving education and culture.

HT 99percentinvisible

More: British people are ruining Spaghetti Bolognese (according to an Italian chef). Here's how to do it properly

More: This man spent 35 years studying the brains of serial killers. This is what he found out