Although it may not be the greatest contributor to injury (and indeed death) on our roads, opening car doors into the path of cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles is easily preventable and could reduce the number of accidents per year by thousands according to a campaign being run by Cycling UK.
Cycling UK are backing a campaign encouraging vehicle occupants to use the opposite arm to that closest to the door to reach across and open it. By doing so it is believed that occupants will naturally turn their bodies and thus have a better view of traffic approaching alongside their vehicle. In theory this sounds simple enough, but getting drivers (and passengers) to change what is both the most natural way of opening an interior door and also very much a habit is likely to prove a lot harder.
It is hoped that this small change in behaviour can reduce the number of accidents but if you do happen to be struck in such a manner do bear in mind this is not just an unfortunate accident. If you (or your property) do suffer injury and/or damage do as you would in any other accident, and make sure you take all relevant details and where appropriate also report it to the police.
A campaign to raise awareness of "car-dooring" is needed to save lives on Britain's roads, Cycling UK has said. The campaign group says cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are being injured and killed by drivers and their passengers carelessly opening doors. It wants the Dutch reach - which involves opening doors with the "wrong" hand - to be taught to new drivers. The Department for Transport says it will consider new messages on cycle safety as part of its Think! campaign. Government figures from 2011-2015 show that eight people died from carelessly-opened car doors. Three of these had been travelling in cars - five were cyclists knocked off their bikes.