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What is “dooring,” and how can drivers avoid it?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Personal Injury

If you are a keen cyclist, you have almost certainly heard of the term dooring. If you are not and tend to travel by car, you may not have, which is a problem for cyclists.

Dooring refers to when a driver or a passenger opens their car door into the path of a cyclist. Unless the cyclist can quickly brake in time, they are likely to ride straight into the open door and be sent sprawling. 

Preventing dooring is relatively easy

For car users to avoid dooring, all they need to do is check it is safe to open the door before doing so. Yet many people are not in the habit of doing so, especially if they are in a rush to jump out, such as when a driver is dropping a passenger off at the side of the road in traffic.

The Dutch Reach is a method that originated among the Dutch, a nation of cyclists thanks to the huge amount of cycling infrastructure that makes traveling by bicycle a safe and enjoyable experience compared to cycling in the United States.

To perform the Dutch Reach, simply use the hand furthest away from the door to open it rather than the nearest one, which is what most people here tend to do. By using the furthest hand, you swivel your body and head backward, making it easier to spot an approaching cyclist.

It’s easy to do, so there is no excuse for those inside a vehicle to injure a cyclist with their door. If they do, the cyclist will have the right to pursue compensation.