How you open your car door makes a difference to cyclists
One of the things all cyclists fear is inattentive car drivers opening their door into the path of their bike.
Town planning and road planning can help make the roads safer for cyclists. Sadly, many town planners in Texas are only interested in making the streets faster for cars. As an average citizen, there are limits to what you can do to make your town more cycle-friendly.
- You could join a campaign or petition your local council.
- You could join a national cycle association that uses its resources to pressure authorities for better infrastructure for bicycles.
- You could start cycling yourself, as the more cyclists on the road, the more acceptable it becomes, and if work colleagues and friends see you cycling, they may be convinced to give it a try.
Or you could learn a simple technique which can help you avoid causing a bicycle accident when opening your car door. The method is known as the Dutch reach because that is where it originated. Some call it the far-hand reach.
A Dutch reach merely means to open the car door with the opposite hand to usual, the one that is furthest from the door you are opening. Try it. Doing this forces you to turn around and look behind you, so you can check for cyclists coming along the road before you open the door. It is so simple, but it could save a cyclist’s life, or spare them injury. Learn it, practice it, and teach it to others if you want to reduce the number of bicycle accidents in Irving.