It’s Time to Bring the ‘Dutch Reach’ to L.A.

They do it in Europe. Why aren’t we doing this here?

Transportation Comments

The “Dutch Reach” is having a moment. Originating in the Netherlands, it’s a way of opening your car door that forces you to look over your shoulder to see if a bicyclist or motorcyclist is coming. It’s a good idea, and word is getting out.

Here’s how to Dutch Reach:

  1. When exiting a vehicle, reach for the door handle by using the hand that is farthest from the door.
  1. Look back to see if anyone is coming into the path of your door.
  2. If someone is coming—and this is the key part—do not open the door.

A quick how-to from Outside:

Unfortunately, too many of us do the Los Angeles Reach, which is when you thoughtlessly open your car door willy-nilly as if you are the only person in existence and not an inhabitant of a giant metropolis filled with bikers and skateboarders.

RELATED: 5 Rules of Driving Specific to L.A.

Does the Dutch Reach keep people from getting hurt or killed? Yeah, it seems like it might. More importantly, though, the Dutch Reach snaps you out of autopilot and reminds you that you share the road with other human beings, and when you live in a car culture like we do, there’s value in that.

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