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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.

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.”

Written by 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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