For Drivers: How the simple ‘Dutch Reach’ can save you £1,000 fine

An expert is advising drivers to use a new strategy while driving to assist protect bikers, or face a punishment.

Following a comprehensive reform of the Highway Code in January 2022, motorists were given new guidelines, urging them to protect other road users.

The Highway Code now encourages the use of a well-known technique known as the “Dutch reach” when exiting a vehicle.

It tells drivers and passengers to open the door with their opposite hand, such as using their left hand to open a door on the right side.

This forces drivers to shift their body and turn their head, giving them a better view over their shoulder and out the back window.

With this expanded view, they can see any oncoming vehicle traffic, cyclists riding past and pedestrians walking by the car.

According to the Highway Code, this will lessen the risk for those cycling or riding a motorbike passing on the road as well as pedestrians on the pavement.

One expert advises drivers to use the Dutch reach method, which provides them with a 270-degree angle to avoid “dooring” someone else.

Bob Coupland, partner from Cycle SOS, has urged drivers to use “simple habit” to reduce unnecessary cyclist accidents.

He said: “Dooring accidents occur when somebody opens a vehicle door into the path of a cyclist, causing them to face the impact of the door or react by dangerously swerving out of the way.

Every year, an estimated 700 cyclists are killed by automobile doors, according to AA data.

Motorists might be held accountable for any accident-related damages, which could result in a £1,000 fine.

If a motorist does not scan their surroundings before opening the car door, they may be considered negligent and liable for damages.

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