Here’s Why You Should Never Open Car Doors With Your Left Hand (7 Pics)

Drivers all around the world are receiving an important lesson, courtesy of the citizens of the Netherlands — never open your car door with your left hand when you’re in the driver’s seat.
For a little background, people in the capital city of Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands ride bicycles whenever possible.
As a result, the country has some of the most advanced biking lanes, laws, and regulations in the world.

These biking regulations include something called the “Dutch reach,” a maneuver performed by drivers when exiting their vehicles.
The natural instinct is to use your left hand, closest to the door, to open it, but Dutch drivers always reach with their right for a very important reason.

First of all, minor scrapes and accidents are caused all the time when drivers or passengers open their door into an adjacent vehicle.
But cosmetic damage aside, by far the most lethal danger posed by car doors involves bicyclists.
In fact, this type of collision is so common, it even has a name.

“Dooring” is an accident in which a biker crashes into the open door of a car.
According to some estimates, roughly twenty percent of all bicycle accidents are caused by dooring.
What usually happens is that a cyclist is moving quickly in a bike lane, and a car door opens suddenly in front of them.

The motorist isn’t aware of the cyclist, and the cyclist can’t stop in time to avoid the door…
…which has resulted in at least twenty-five reported deaths. So by now you’re probably wondering where your left hand comes into this, right?

If you use your left hand to open the door when you’re on the left-hand side of the car, you can easily open your door into oncoming traffic.
But if you reach across your body with your right hand to open the door, it forces you to turn your whole upper body.
This encourages you to look automatically look out the window, hopefully spotting any oncoming cyclists.

Even if you aren’t consciously checking for cyclists, you will notice any oncoming obstacles.
That means opening the door with your right hand can also protect other drivers and pedestrians from collisions with the car door.
In other words, even if it feels a bit unnatural, this simple switch can make a huge difference in safety!