Cycling UK and Uber have today announced a new Dutch Reach campaign to improve safety for cyclists on public roads across the UK.
The Dutch Reach is a technique that ensures people always look over their shoulders to avoid opening doors into the path of cyclists. The idea of the manoeuvre is to open the door with your hand furthest from the door, forcing you to turn your body and check over your shoulder for cyclists and other road users.
Using a virtual reality film, the campaign aims to educate drivers and people in cars in how to use the technique. The film, produced by Cycling UK in partnership with Uber, highlights the dangers of ‘car-dooring’ and how to do the Dutch Reach utilising innovative 3D virtual reality technology. Filmed from the perspective of a passenger in a car, it shows a collision caused by a driver opening their door and how it could have been avoided using the technique. It will be shared with the millions of people who use the Uber app in the UK, including more than five million passengers and 60,000 licensed drivers.
Uber is also launching a new cycle alert feature in London to inform passengers to look over their shoulder for cyclists before opening their door. Using publicly available mapping data, these alerts will be sent to all users in London when their upcoming drop-off is near a cycle lane or along a share cycle route.
Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said: “We know 60 cyclists are killed or seriously injured across Britain every year by car dooring incidents. We also know from a survey that 40% of people say they are put off from cycling because of the fear of car dooring, so it’s of vital importance to educate anyone who uses a car to check before opening their door.
“The Dutch Reach is such a simple technique, that if everyone learned it from a young age, it could make a real difference to safety on our roads.”
Fred Jones, head of new mobility at Uber, said: “Using a simple Dutch Reach technique can save lives and we’re proud to be working with Cycling UK to make this a habit. Together, we can combine education and technology to increase road safety awareness amongst the millions of people who use the Uber app across the UK.”