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Majority of drivers still unaware of life-saving ‘Dutch Reach’ technique

Most drivers still don’t know what the ‘Dutch Reach’ door-opening technique is despite a Government pledge a year ago to include it in the Highway Code.

Footage from a helmet camera of a door opening in the path of a cyclist

The potentially life-saving technique is designed to reduce the number of ‘car-dooring’ incidents; according to Cycling UK it could prevent a large number of cyclist injuries and fatalities a year.

It’s already included in both AA Driving School and BSM driving instructor training and is expected to be included in a series of updates to the Highway Code in 2020, but an AA Charitable Trust poll has found that the majority (62%) of drivers still don’t know what it is.

However, the research also found that once they have had the door-opening technique explained to them, most drivers (62%) think it should be taught in all driving lessons and half (52%) think it should be added to the Highway Code.

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “Using the Dutch Reach is straightforward – simply open your car door with the hand that is furthest from the door. It will force you to turn, enabling you to very quickly check if a cyclist or motorcyclist is approaching.

“It’s really just down to habit – and it’s a habit we should be trying to adopt. Putting it into the Highway Code will help to get it into the minds of car drivers and passengers.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.

One Comment

  • Dave Robbins21. Nov, 2019

    I cycle to work — in fact cycle most places — and I still forget to use the Dutch Reach when I’m driving! Thanks for the reminder.