Why You Should Never Use Your Left Hand To Open Your Car Door

You could prevent 20% of car-related accidents!

While known for their colorful tulip fields and towering windmills, the Netherlands are building another reputation as well. Coining the “Dutch reach,” they’re encouraging drivers to open car doors with their right hand instead of their left. In reality, the practice is saving lives all over the world. 

Flickr / Bill Abbott

When getting out of a vehicle from the driver’s side, it’s natural to reach for the handle with your left hand. After all, it’s closest and more convenient.

However, Dutch citizens have adopted quite the opposite habit instead.

Flickr / Chris F

Responsible for nearly 20% of all bicycle-related accidents, “dooring” can be a deadly danger.

In case you weren’t familiar with the term, “dooring” describes the instance a biker crashes into an open car door (usually the driver side).


While bike riders usually pedal in the bike lane, they’re basically in the line of fire! In fact, over 20 people have died as a result of “dooring.”

Sadly, cyclists really have no control in the matter. Bikers going at an extremely fast pace may not have time to properly react to an open car door.

Wikimedia Commons

Often times, the driver in a parked car doesn’t notice an oncoming bicyclist in the next lane over, resulting in an accident that could have been avoided.

Luckily, the Dutch have provided a possible solution to the serious problem.


Reinforcing the idea to open car doors with your right-hand, the culture is raising awareness for the potential injuries that could occur otherwise.

The Dutch remind drivers reaching with the right-hand naturally forces your body to turn towards the door itself.

Wikimedia Commons

As a result, people are more inclined to look out the window and notice possible hazards. Even if not conscious of doing so, drivers will notice any movement in their field of vision.

Coined as the “Dutch reach,” the practice is proving pretty effective. That’ll be one more point for the Netherlands, please! Keep up the good work guys!

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