Dooring – what is it?

It sounds like a strange word doesn’t it? however, it’s actually quite a serious act. It’s the process of drivers or passengers opening their vehicle doors without checking before doing so and in the process usually hitting cyclists who may be going past.
Crazily this causes 2 deaths per year in the UK and on average over 700 injuries to cyclists. And these are only the reported figures.
These occur when road users aren’t diligent enough to check for any other road or pavement users including pedestrians.
Cycling UK chief executive, Paul Tuohy, said: “Some people seem to see car dooring as a bit of a joke, but it’s not and can have serious consequences.
“Cycling UK wants to see great awareness made about the dangers of opening your car door negligently, and people to be encouraged to look before they open.”
Cycling has been a focal point for the UK in recent years, and the government is trying to actively encourage more people to cycle.
Therefore the transport charity Cycling UK has now launched a camping about dooring across the UK to raise awareness.
This includes lobbying the government, to consider the possible other cases of dooring that have gone unreported in order to gain more accurate statistics.
Another issue they wish to highlight is the use of a method of opening doors called the ‘dutch reach’. in the Netherlands and across the Nordic countries they encourage drivers to open car doors with the hand that is not next to the door.
In fact, it’s also a compulsory part of the driving test in the Netherlands.
The use of the Dutch reach is that while the driver or passenger leans to open their door with their far hand, they can use that time to pivot their bodies and look over the shoulder and into their wing mirror in the process.
They are then meant to open the door slowly and cautiously so if they have missed anything, it will be a less harmful collision.
Rule 239 of the Highway Code states that motorists ‘must ensure you do not hit anyone when you open your door. Check for cyclists or other traffic. The Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it an offence to open “any door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger any person.’