When a bicyclist is struck by an opening car door, it is known as “dooring” and that crash scenario causes serious injuries and fatalities across the U.S. There is a well- documented approach to exiting a vehicle which can mitigate this type of crash and it is known as the Dutch Reach. This practice started in the Netherlands and is widely used in Europe. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Reach is not only taught in driving education courses, but it is also embedded into the culture of society.
Where is the Dutch Reach Used in the United States?
To date, the Dutch Reach has been included in only three state driving manuals, Massachusetts (2017), Illinois (2019) and Washington State (2019). What about the state of Pennsylvania? Cycling advocates, led by the Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition and the Vision Zero Alliance of Philadelphia, are encouraging state officials to include the driving procedure in PA state driving manuals.
Despite the sparse number of U.S. states to embrace the Dutch Reach, we are encouraged to see that the concept may indeed become more main-stream. In December 2018, the tv show Jeopardy included this concept in one of their episodes.
In other positive progress, the AAA and the National Safety Council will begin teaching the Dutch Reach to both driver-side and passenger-side vehicle users in traffic safety courses. According to William Van Tassel, AAA’s manager of driver training operations, “We’ve increased our content regarding sharing the roads with cyclists and other vulnerable road users quite a bit. [Cycling] could easily be something that grows as a mode of transportation as we move forward, so we’d like to stay ahead of that if we can.”
Piscitello Law is a member of the Vision Zero Alliance and the Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition, both of whom support adding the Dutch Reach into the PA state driving manual. We will keep you updated on progress.
Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Have you or someone you know been injured in a dooring accident? If so, you might be entitled to financial compensation for your injury damages. At Piscitello Law, our team of experienced lawyers have successfully handled thousands of legal disputes on behalf of clients throughout the tri-state area.
Call (215) 372-8768 to schedule your free and confidential consultation with our legal advocates in Philadelphia.