The conventional car door opening technique usually involves little effort to see what may be coming up behind you, like a bike, that may smash into your door when opened. That technique may change in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wants drivers to use the “Dutch Reach.”
In the Dutch Reach, drivers use their right hand when opening their door, forcing them to turn their bodies and almost unintentionally glance into a sideview mirror to check for oncoming cyclists.
The Dutch Reach has made its way onto page 109 of the Massachusetts Driver’s Manual:
Open vehicle doors pose a very serious threat to bicyclists.
When opening a vehicle door, drivers and passengers are
suggested to do the following:
1. Check your rear-view mirror.
2. Check your side-view mirror.
3. Open the door with your far hand (the hand farther from
For those who prefer video
- RMV Adds New Bicycle Safety Advice to Driver’s Manual
- MassDOT adds ‘Dutch Reach’ to driver’s manual
- Massachusetts Driver’s Manual
- Dutch Reach: Clever Workaround to Keep Cyclists from Getting Doored