The 1 Thing You Should Always Do Before Getting Out Of The Car - This Could Save A Life
LifeAspire Staff 3/9/2017
You probably don't think twice about the way you get out of your car, but according to the Dutch, you're most likely doing it wrong.
The people of Netherlands are perhaps best known for their tulips and windmills, but one thing that makes them unique is their love of bicycles. You may be wondering what this has to do with you and your car, but bear with us. Depending on where you live, this one little change in your car habit can mean the difference between life and death.
Screenshot via Huffington Post
What is now being referred to as the Dutch Reach, the advice revolves around how to open car doors in areas where there is an increasing number of bicycles on the road.
In bigger cities like New York and Chicago for example, more bike lanes have encouraged residents to depend on their bicycles for many errands and tasks. But because this culture of riding bikes is so new in America, car drivers are not yet used to looking out for cyclists who are increasingly sharing the roads.
Specifically, injuries relating to opening a car door onto a bicyclist coming from behind is one of the most common and often leads to fatality. According to data collected in Chicago, one in five bike related accidents were caused by a driver opening their parked car's door and hitting a cyclist.
So now on to the meat of the matter - How does a Dutch Reach work exactly and why is it safer for everyone?
Dutch Reach is the simple act of opening a car door with your right hand instead of the left. In America where steering wheels are on left side of the car, it is just basic instinct and reflex to use the left hand which is closest to the door to open it.
By switching this to the right hand instead, it naturally causes our body to turn and face the window. This makes it easier to take a peek outside and look out for any cyclist that might be about to pass the parked car and thereby keeping them safe.
This simple practice is what the Dutch have been doing for as long as they can remember; it is so common in fact that it doesn't even have a name in the Netherlands! Dutch kids are taught about this in schools and by their parents.
According to the non-profit organization Dutch Reach, which is trying to increase awareness in America, a simple tip to remember this maneuver is to tie a ribbon or a string on the door latch until such a reminder is no longer necessary! Any passengers who might be opening the parked car door on the street should reverse the trick and use their left hand to open the right car door and check for any cyclists.
Watch this video to see a demonstration of the Dutch Reach in action!
Riding a bike isn't just for kids anymore, as this simple and effective mode of transportation is making a comeback in America. But even if you are on the fence about the whole thing, by following this simple Dutch Reach the next time you leave your car will make sure that others who took the bike plunge are safe on the road!
Sources: Grid Chicago, Huffington Post Canada, Reader's Digest, Dutch Reach Facebook Image Source: YouTube/Outside