THE “DUTCH REACH”
Cycling is a healthy way to get around, except when it makes you die, which it does sometimes. According to The New York Times, fatal bike crashes are on the rise, and one cause is “doorings” — collisions between a cyclist and an open driver’s-side car door.
Following the death of a nursing student, a Massachusetts doctor launched a campaign to get Americans to adopt the “Dutch Reach.” Driving schools in Holland teach their students to open the door with the right hand rather than the left. This forces the head to turn and lets the motorist see if a bike is coming. After a while, they say, it’s as natural as looking both ways before crossing a street.
It’s one of many measures the Dutch have taken to improve bike safety, and unlike building bike lanes, it’s all benefit, no cost. There’s something cheap and easy cyclists can contribute to the relationship, too: Keeping bike lights on at all times, not just at night, cuts crashes nearly in half, the Times reported.