Do You Know What The Dutch Reach Is?

Is a ‘Dutch Reach’…

  1. a) a type of Dutch beer
  2. b) a handshake
  3. c) a yoga pose
  4. d) a technique that ensures you always look over your shoulder to avoid opening car doors into the path of cyclists?


If you answered d), well done!  A recent poll* showed that only 12% of the general UK population was aware of the Dutch Reach, with those surveyed admitting they thought it was a type of a Dutch beer (22%), a handshake (19%) or a yoga pose (15%)!

The Dutch Reach is a simple change of habit that can save lives. Every year, hundreds of people who cycle in the UK are injured when someone opens a car door into their path – but the actual figure is much higher, as many collisions aren’t reported.

The Dutch Reach encourages you to open your car door safely. Instead of using the hand closest to the door, reach across with the hand furthest from the door – your left hand if you’re a driver (in the UK).

By using the Dutch Reach, you naturally turn your body towards the window, helping you spot approaching people who are cycling and other oncoming traffic. It also allows you to open the door slowly and carefully, rather than swinging it open in one movement.

To see the Dutch Reach in a virtual reality film and more information on the technique is available at

*Polling carried out by Censuswide, based on 2,000 British adults, in June 2019
Thanks to Cycling UK

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