The importance of numbers is something often overlooked. I read an article discussing the different approaches to biking the Netherlands and my native Norway has. Here in Norway we are obsessed with bike helmets. The dutch never use helmets. Yet we have more head injuries in Norway for bikers.
So the number of bikers in the Netherlands seem to create a better protection for bikers than the usage of helmets. And here is the kicker: If you don't demand that people use helmets when biking, the number of bikers will rise to a level, where the number of injuries will be lower than if everybody used helmet.
That is what the research suggested anyway. I will probably still use a helmet in Norway due to the terrain, but it is still food for thought I think.
The law is probably a second large factor, and only then do I think the number of cyclists comes into play. And even then, that sheer number has only been achieved thanks to the former two factors - I'm confident that that has played a far greater role than helmets being optional.
Yes! Found it! 
Why this place is dangerous: tram rails to get your bike wheel stuck in on the left. Cars on the right. Especially on a rainy day with lots of traffic this place is scary. It's quite easy to get stuck in a tram rail with cars behind you. The lane that cyclists seem to cycle in is mostly between the first tram rail and the cars on the right (see  for a better perspective of it). Whenever I cycle this small part, I always hope that every parked driver knows the Dutch reach. Amsterdam is a multicultural city with expats, so I'm always a bit weary whenever I forgot to choose the safer option. Up until now, they fortunately all did .
 It took me a long time to switch from this unsafe small part of Amsterdam to a safer alternative.
Still, it's clearly a place that lacks the separate bike lanes that are so common elsewhere.
1. Infrastructure: wide enough seperated lanes without potholes in a bright color, making it clear also to pedestrians. Most of the time very clear visibility on crossroads.
2. Motorized traffic is most of the time far less stressed than in other parts of europe
3. Other cyclists seem to be more educated about traffic rules than in other places where you often only have two types: the suicidal and the overly cautionous, barly going faster than a pedestrian
> Other cyclists seem to be more educated about traffic rules than in other places where you often only have two types: the suicidal and the overly cautionous, barly going faster than a pedestrian
Worst examples of suicidal: a cyclist running a red light on the most dangerous intersection of the city while on the phone and not remotely paying attention to traffic. Or parents teaching their young kids to lane-split against motorised traffic.
Even in The Netherlands this law was needed to keep bikers safe.
And when introduced even the Dutch made fun of it: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ivY06w83fKU
Edit: if you want to look this up, the law is called: "Artikel 185 Wegenverkeerswet".
It's very broad and is not only to protect cyclists. I think this law is more about making drivers of motor vehicles more responsible.
This is a very old law from the age of drivers without license and cars made of concrete.
That's also why more and more people think the law is unfair and doesn't fit the current climate.
That transfers when the many bikers are driving a car into doing more, and better checks than a typical driver without two wheel experience.
A) more people ride bikes.
B) Less people wear helmets.
A and B are correlated, but this is due to a 3rd external cause. They do not cause each other.
When mandatory helmet laws were introduced across Australia we saw a sharp drop off in casual cycling rates which we're only recovering from now. If we never suffered that drop, perhaps we'd have a stronger cycling culture today.
When I turn right I always check my right mirror. This is not something I was specifically taught, this is something I do because I also bike a lot and am often on the bike lane on the right.
(yes, the design of the lens is such that this should not be an issue but a lot of cyclists will still stupidly cross the crosding instead of following the U shaped path)
When doing a maneuver you check your mirror AND turn your head. If you are not taught this I shudder to think what else where left out of your so-called drivers education.
I am glad that you can comment on my so called driver education (which includes a L1 rally license) and it is a good thing that today the new driving context (with bike lanes all over the place are correctly taught).
All which of course has nothing to do with my comment about the extra awareness someone gains when being another user of the road (on another device, it goes both ways).
* found it*
I am a Dutchie who has been mostly living in a village for most of his life. I visited most big cities in The Netherlands quite frequently, once every month, (especially Amsterdam) with people (parents when I was young, friends when I got older). So when I moved to Amsterdam I thought that I was used to it.
I was wrong. I got attacked by bikes left, right and center at the moments where I was unsuspecting. Those moments were few and far in between, but that is what made it so dangerous. I had enough exposure to Dutch cyclists / cycling myself to do it 98% of the time. And in the remaining 2% I got attacked.
I've learned and fortunately didn't have to pay the price.
> So the number of bikers in the Netherlands seem to create a better protection for bikers than the usage of helmets. And here is the kicker: If you don't demand that people use helmets when biking, the number of bikers will rise to a level, where the number of injuries will be lower than if everybody used helmet.
I think infrastructure and distances of travel are more of a incentive than helmets, though with mopeds (low speed mopeds don't require helmets) speak in your favor.
I wonder if there are accident statistics taking terrain into account. It's a lot more difficult to harm yourself on flat ground than coming down a steep hill.
The infrastructure for biking is terrible, and the rules make it even worse.
Norway is a very special case.
Edit: Helmet, hi visibility vest and reflex lights are the only requirement there is for a biker in Norway.
Also some places there are pedestrian and bike lanes, but most bikers still choose to bike on the road because it is faster
When living in Norway I remember that this was an issue even on a place where there was a separated cycle path. Which why going down hill to the train station it was with helmet and back up it was without.
When living in the Netherlands, I never felt that the road itself was dangerous like it was in Norway.
It's awareness born of experience.
We learn to properly use all three mirrors.
If I get hit by a car I doubt it will matter if there is a helmet on my head.
Fellow cyclists, you already know this, but please watch sideview mirrors of parked vehicles and all other signs of people and passengers and assume the worst.
Infrastructure should, IMO, allow an extra foot or two in lane designs especially when they are adjacent to different users (i.e. motorist, cyclist, pedestrian). This allows for swervy cyclists, swervy motorists, bad parkers, and people "not from here" a safety buffer. The latter group is one you're just not going to ever reach with urban education like the article, yet they are a significant vehicular presence in a many popular cities, whether they're driving their own vehicles, an unfamiliar rental, or getting out of a taxi cab.
I'll give an example. All infrastructure design decisions have pros and cons. Here's a style of bike lane on the "passenger" side that catches motorists off guard (when they park too far to the right, near the lane) and passengers off guard because neither expect to find a cyclist on their right.
How about some opening-door-tech that alerts you quickly and loudly when an object approaches your door as you begin to swing it open? Good for passing traffic, bicycles, etc.
BTW, I appreciate that cycling news shows up on HN from time to time. It's truly a civilized activity and IMO has an important role in the future of cities. Keep pedalling. :-)
At any speed trying to figure out whether or not someone is in it in time to slow down is impossible. Even if you slow down to a crawl as you pass someone sitting in the car you are still relying on them not opening it into your side. If you are right beside the cars you have no space whatsoever to swerve, because swerving towards faster traffic is suicidal.
However, please do not lane split even when it's legal to do so. I can't see out the far side of the vehicle, so you're basically somewhere I have less control over. Further, if you take a whole lane _then_ lane split at the red light, it will anger me and I will end up driving more aggressively, which is rather terrible for safety. If I can tolerate you being slow in front of me, you can tolerate me being slow to accelerate.
Since that’s by far the safest place for them to be, filtering to reach it is absolutely appropriate.
Cars usually accelerate much faster than cyclists. It can appear the other way because I'm watching for the light to switch much more carefully - so I can make sure the car to my left will see me before right turning.
It's generally about letting people behind me get in front of me. Once I pull over to the side though I need to act like a 'normal' bicycle and pull to the front of the line. That's where people expect me - and that makes sure everyone turning right has seen me so they won't hit me.
It can also be about using the vehicles moving in my direction as a shield against people turning left. I worry that people don't expect me when I'm riding in the lane at a light, and as a result won't properly see me.
That said, if you're use to farm vehicles you probably drive in very different places than I ride (downtown in a big city).
Basically, the complete opposite of letting cars behind get ahead.
As for left turns: that car behind you (when you take up the whole lane) is your shield; the opposing car doing a left turn can't go because that other car will T-bone them. When driving, there are few enough bikes that having to look for two lanes (even though only one is marked) is the unexpected thing, so I'm actually _less_ likely to see you. If you're blocking the car behind you, I'd actually look for you to figure out why the car is so far back.
The bikes accelerating faster thing is the excuse I've heard before for the bikes filtering at the red light; apologies if that's incorrect.
Filtering on the right to pass and then immediately taking the lane for an extended period of time is certainly rude, and would piss me off as well. It's not something I've seen or would do myself but I can easily believe there are cyclists doing it.
The trick with the whole 'car as a shield thing' is I'm assuming you won't see me, but if I pass through the intersection with a car traveling in the same direction to my left it doesn't matter, you literally couldn't hit me short of shoving that car into me. The phrase I've heard for this sort of stuff is riding as if you were invisible. You're right that a car behind me is almost as good, but that assumes that I'm not the last person in the line.
Presumably because you'd be launched over the door not into it, and thus protected from traffic in either direction. Perhaps also because the person opening the door might cushion your impact!
A motorist is many many times more likely to kill you unintentionally through negligence, rather than intentionally through psychopathic rage induced by having to slow down behind you.
Also. You payed for those roads via taxes, use them (no, road vehicle tax does not cover a fraction of road building and maintenance in any country)
I don’t think it’s ever saved anyones life, but I do what I can.
Biggest thing cars can do and I always do is don’t pass a cyclist only to turn right 5 seconds later. Srsly what’s the point. Just drive slowly behind them for a bit. A little patience won’t kill you.
Also, I recently had to take the American driving test (I drove for years on my EU license coz I’m lazy). The rules actually say you have to use the bike lane as a turn lane to avoid blocking traffic when turning right. That shit’s fucked up.
Using the far right lane to turn is supposed to be safer for cyclists by reducing the possibility of right hook collisions. It is, however, less convenient for cyclists since they may be blocked by a car waiting to turn.
California requires cars to merge into the bike lane before making a turn.
Oregon on the other hand forbids cars from using the bike lane for turns.
 Note that busier roads tend to have cycling traffic completely separated onto a separate cycling path. But there's still roads with cycling lanes or shared with cycling traffic, so the rule is still used.
My experience from living five years in Germany and commuting to work by bike daily is that there are always some smaller vehicles that cross the dashed line. Especially when they in line for a traffic light. This often makes bike lines pretty much unusable (I often had to switch to the pavement to continue cycling, behavior that I copied from German cyclists).
I have always wondered whether drivers simply don't care or don't want cyclists to overtake them when they are waiting in traffic.
Another thing that I noticed in Germany is that most car drivers are either too cautious or extremely reckless in their attitude to cyclists. The cautious drivers will do things like drive behind you for long times, even though there is plenty of time/space to overtake. The reckless drivers will cut you off even if you have the right-of-way. The problem with both overly cautious and reckless drivers is that they are very unpredictable.
I am now back in The Netherlands and I am surprised how friendly cars are to cyclists (you only notice when you've been abroad for a while). The biggest danger are other cyclists ;).
Edit: When I was in Taipei years ago they had dedicated lanes and over passes for Scooters. My thought is relatively roads for scooters and bicycles are really cheap. Another memory is when they built the highway 85 extension in the 90's bicyclists started using it in large numbers before it was open to traffic. That leaves me with the impression that the biggest impediment to getting people to ride bicycles is having to mix it up with auto traffic.
It is unrelated to the original subject, but how does this "median turn lane" work?
For me, the marking means that you can get out of that lane, but not into it in the first place... To get into that lane, you have to cross a continuous line from your side, which is not supposed to happen (in the rules I know at my place).
... but it is still a weird choice that it re-uses the marking for "Passing Permitted in Direction Having Single Lane" in a not quite compatible manner.
I would not have picked that, it hurts my sense of regularity :-)
BTW, is it allowed to use that type of lane for the opposite manoeuvre (I mean coming from a driveway, crossing the 2 lanes on your side, then sit on the middle lane until you can safely insert in the opposite traffic). I guess not?
 German highway is called "Autobahn", and has some interesting traffic rules.
Interesting? I don't think so. Very few and well reasoned rules apply to Autobahn: No turning around. No stopping. There are no crossings of any kind. As on all highways with more than one lane, a Rettungsgasse (emergency way) must be created as soon as traffic congests.
> Forgetting to check your right hand mirror and shoulder will
Incidentally, it seems mirrors are thought very differently in the US. It seems in the US a "blind spot free" arrangement is preferred, meanwhile in Germany the normal arrangement is preferred. Fun fact: The English Wikipedia has this image ( https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/95/Bl... 9 ) as an example of incorrectly adjusted mirrors. The German Wikipedia uses the exact same image as an example of correctly adjusted mirrors.
The choice is not really between "blind spots" and "no blind spots" but between "one big blind spot on each side" and
"two smaller blind spots on each side". YMMV, depending on
whether you often drive on multi-lane roads and highways.
Whether a majority of US states adopt one standard or
the other is an open question. IMHO, getting USA drivers
to increase their roadway situational awareness, whether
by adjusting mirrors, reducing distractions, or other
means feels like a cause that was lost when cars got
radios and air conditioning, and drivers rolled up their windows.
"Sorry, this content is not available in your region."
Wow, I didn't know HTTP allowed you to request content from two decades ago.
To check, I got my theory book. It says the following:
> After the part about doing visual checks
> When it is visually safe, hold the door handle with the left hand, and open the door using the right hand as far as is necessary and exit the vehicle.
So it explicitly states that one should grab the door handle with the left hand, not the right. Moreover, one should check visually (using mirrors and an over the shoulder check) before doing 'the reach')
I can't find the year of publishing, but it seems quite old, 2005-ish. The ISBN is: 978-90-72967-03-9 (26th printing)
The original dutch:
> Als het veilig is houdt u met uw linkerhand aan de handgreep het portier vast en opent u met uw rechterhand het portier zover als u nodig hebt en stapt uit.
That is the Dutch reach, to my understanding. 99% Invisible did a story on it a couple years ago, and that was covered here. 600 comments.
I think if you were taught proper driving technique, then there is no need for such concortions. You will always check the mirror and look over your shoulder before opening the door, even if only subconsciously. Just like you always check lengthwise traffic before making a turn, or checking traffic behind you before switching into another lane.
This is an issue of driver's education. Not which hand you use to open the door.
People who promote a practice seem to think their argument will be more persuasive if the practice came from an admired foreign country, yet the people who live in that country have never heard of it and/or do not commonly do it.
In this case it's the Dutch, but I've seen all kinds of similar nonsense about Japan.
She also says many instructors do not give a f*ck and skip teaching these procedures.
The Dutch people claiming it's not a thing are either older or had a sloppy driving instructor.
EDIT: in the past people were taught the: "look in the mirror and over your shoulder" method. Many older instructors still teach this.
But whatever I was taught, I know very well to always pay attention to the other traffic. I find it bizarre that some people don't as soon as their car stops.
I have different experiences. I failed a driving exam once when I failed to do open the door properly (eg. with left instead of right hand).
> “It’s just what Dutch people do,” said Fred Wegman, professor emeritus of Traffic Safety at Delft University of Technology and the former managing director of the National Institute for Road Safety Research SWOV in the Netherlands. “All Dutch are taught it. It’s part of regular driver education.”
The article is not accurate. It’s a perfect example of what I was talking about.
In the USA, many or most states have laws stating that drivers must yield to pedestrians at unmarked crosswalks (every intersection is a legal crosswalk), but most drivers don't know that "unmarked crosswalks" exist.
I failed my practical driving exam because I didn't open the door properly. I tried to explain that I looked before getting out. Failed it nonetheless.
The real issue for me is cycling infrastructure. London is getting sort-of better. There are cycle "superhighways", but they're quite narrow and have their fair share of idiot cyclists who ride very fast and loose, and make it dangerous for other cyclists. If there was better infrastructure there might be a critical mass of more sedate cyclists who set the tone for cycling in general, so everyone takes account of that new paradigm. Until that happens, I don't think there's a good safe way of cycling in somewhere like London without a helmet.
Whereas you (I think) are recommending individuals use helmets, and also bicycle infrastructure.
OP isn't saying it's bad for an individual to wear a helmet. They're saying it's a bad requirement, because making helmets required will take marginal cyclists off the road. And fewer cyclists leads to more accidents like the ones you had, because drivers aren't used to cyclists.
I don't wear a helmet when commuting but I also rarely exceed 20km/h to avoid the exact kind of collision you just described. I have to say a helmet will help when going over the bars, but you could've just as easily been critically injured in other ways, such as breaking your neck, rupturing an artery etc.
One thing you notice about cyclists and cars in Amsterdam is that everyone goes quite slowly and with a fairly high level of awareness.
Why don’t we do that? Because while the burden is low - it’s mostly dragging the helmet around wherever you go and ruining your hardcut - the actual probability it might help is quite low. And with good infrastructure, the same is true for cycling. If you look at this years stats for causes of death for cyclists in Berlin for example, the leading cause is “crushed by a truck”.
Note: if you do cycling for sports at high speeds or rough terrain: wear a helmet.
Edit: To be clear, I was riding years without a helmet until a crash made me reconsider my priorities. Also, I am not in favor of mandating helmet usage on bikes.
All kinds of race car drivers were helmets - and their steel cages are much much more sturdy than the ones that commuters have. Statistics als indicate that many car drivers suffer head injuries. So by all available evidence, wearing a helmet in a car is not redundant. Still, people don’t do it - unless they engage in particularly dangerous activities.
The parent poster that you refer to explicitly gave his speed as about 20km/h for commuting, which is neither particularly fast nor particularly dangerous on good infrastructure. So why wear a helmet?
For me this discussion is done. I have this particular perception, you have yours. We are both happy with it. Stay safe.
I understand fear of someone who actually was in one, but please stop forcing your fear on everybody else. Just because you are afraid does not mean not being afraid is irresponsible or any more irresponsible then not having helmet in car crash.
For one thing, double parking is a thing all over the city. So you are constantly having to swing out back into traffic from the bike lane because cars are in the lane. For the other thing, bike lanes--where they do exist--are painted right next to the street parking, so you are constantly having to watch out for people getting out of their cars and opening a door right into you. Also causing you to have to swerve into traffic when that happens.
The bike lane over the bridge is insane. Particularly on the downward side of the bridge where cyclists just let momentum take them and fly as fast as they can.
The only time I've ever felt safe on a bike is in Manhattan where the traffic is so bad, no one can ever move fast enough to hurt anyone. In the 6 months or so I did that, I ended up in 8 very close calls then ended up with me laid out on the street in traffic trying to dodge something or someone or almost hit by someone else on a bicycle, I gave it up and went back to taking the subway, where I could read and be productive on the way to work instead of constantly worrying about getting smacked.
I've also been cut off once by a car who didn't see me while I was going very fast, but while I braked, I also made a flat turn into the street the car was turning into, and that saved my from a collision.
The rear brake is much more likely to cause a fall. When you apply the brake the bike tips forward and the rear wheel rises up. It easily looses grip and can lock up. That causes a skid and next thing you are on the ground. Or just smashed into whatever you are trying to avoid.
The front brake does not do this because the tipping forward pushes the front wheel into the ground. You get more grip and more braking potential. With a little practice you can stop the bike quickly and easily. You will never go back. But you have to grip the handlebars and tense your arms a bit to deal with the force.
Ideally, for an emergency brake you want to use 70% front brake, 30% rear brake, get off the saddle and move your bum as far back as possible.
Safe riding everyone.
Shifting weight might help a bit, but you still need to grip.
Might also not be an issue for e-bikes, as those are generally heavier and probably less likely to raise the rear wheel while braking.
I'm less than 60kg, and can start to flip a bike if I try.
What we do have here in the Netherlands are bike lanes, so in a lot of places the bikes pass the parked/stopping cars on the right hand side.
Two points to this: Obviously (and you probably implied this but I want to make it clear:) it is first and foremost the duty of the car driver opening a door to make sure that there is nobody endangered.
Secondly: It is not always possible to anticipate car doors opening, even if you are following traffic very carefully. People sit in their cars for prolonged times without the engines on. It only takes one bad situation to kill a person. Therefore in my opinion all reasonable measures should be taken, including teaching people to open their car doors with the opposing hand. (Even better, as you mentioned: separate different kinds of traffic)
Another part of this is probably that cyclists are essentially never sandwiched between parked cars and traffic. The sandwiching requires you drive a lot closer to the parked cars. Without it, you can take a lot more distance.
Also never heard of this in the Netherlands.
Note: this was featured on HN several times already.
"There is no name in Dutch for this technique — it’s just second nature to Dutch drivers, and has been for years. It has been deeply ingrained in the country’s culture.
“It’s just what Dutch people do,” said Fred Wegman, professor emeritus of Traffic Safety at Delft University of Technology and the former managing director of the National Institute for Road Safety Research SWOV in the Netherlands. “All Dutch are taught it. It’s part of regular driver education.” "
which is simply not true.
You do get cookie from Dutch though. Cookie comes from the Dutch keokje.
It doesn't work so great on modern cars with folding mirrors though. I think maybe it got introduced more recently?
Running on the opposite sidewalk so that I'm running with traffic is no safer because then I have to look over my left shoulder at every crosswalk to make sure a car making a right off the main street isn't about to run me over as I enter a crosswalk.
In summary: many drivers suck, don't follow the law, and self-driving cars can't get here soon enough.
Related phenomenon: pedestrian crossings and cutouts placed twenty feet down a side street. Yeah, it might be further from the busier street, but it makes it much harder for either party to see each other or recognize each others' intentions. Ultimately quite bad for safety, even for regular pedestrians but especially for runners. No thanks. I'll stay out where I can see them and they can see me and there's no ambiguity about which direction I'm going, even if that means hopping on and off curbs.
As a daily transportation cyclist for about 10 years, I know from experience that much bike infrastructure in the US is more safety theater than actual safety improvements. Infrastructure makes cyclists feel safer, but it can amplify certain problems to the point where it might be making the roads less safe.
There are two cycletracks near where I work in Austin. I almost never ride on either, mostly because many drivers turn into them at intersections without looking. The city put up many signs to say to yield to cyclists, but these have had no effect best I can tell. I'd much rather take the lane and be seen. This is counterintuitive to many people, particularly non-cyclists, but the evidence I've seen in my daily life is overwhelming. These types of crashes are often called "right hooks" and they are well known to experienced cyclists.
Add on top of that the unsafe passes from drivers. Add the distracted driving. Add the speeding. Add the illegal parking in the bike lane (even protected lanes). Add the tailgating. Add the abuse from thankfully a far smaller number of people than any of the mentioned problems. It's clear to me that both infrastructure and behavior changes are needed.
Why don’t we instead take the experience of cities that instead of trying to integrate cars and cyclists, integrated cyclists and pedestrians? Physics are more on your side here - a lot closer weight and size of objects. Possibly even closer speed differential.
On a recent trip to Munich, the clear markings and cyclists on a protected wide sidewalk made a lot more sense. With cars and bikes sharing the narrow city roads, doorings are only one problem. Even side view mirrors can be a hazzard.
It’s more costly to have wider side walks, but it’s so much safer!
At times, I do ride on the sidewalk because of road design or convenience, and it requires a much slower pace if there are pedestrians nearby.
pedestrians and cyclists have separate lanes on the sidewalk, and pity the fool who crosses over to the wrong one!
edit: I have a Dutch driver's license and definitely would've known about it.
1 - https://duckduckgo.com/?q=car+blind+spots&t=brave&ia=images&...
[Single-page PDF] https://www.cartalk.com/sites/default/files/features/mirrors...
It was literally the first thing my driving instructor spoke about, after I'd got in the driver's seat, and something the examiner was particularly careful to ensure was being checked.
Including the observation (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12675829) that the "Dutch Reach" is perhaps not universally known in Holland.
There's really a 40% failure rate? That's insane given how easy it is to pass the test.
 I actually do. Maybe it'll be me someday. But for the sake of argument let's pretend.
Here's what I do. I pop my door open an inch, just crack the seam, to give people behind me a signal that I'm exiting. Once the door is ajar, I do my check to see if the way is clear. As much as you should be worried about dooring a cyclist, you should be worried about getting cracked in the skull by your own door should a bus clip it.
What happens when power fails is pretty important. What happens to an automated vehicle when that happens, for example? If there's no driver, they'll a mechanical brake that isn't used whenever power IS available. When power fails, it would engage.
More to your point, I've heard the Tesla Model 3 rear doors can't be opened from inside when power is lost in an accident. That could be a serious problem in an accident. Maybe they've fixed that or will soon. They will definitely fix it before I would purchase one.
Specifically, this is from experience involving a passenger door opening into a curb-side bicycle lane. The door opened before the car came to a complete stop and quite a ways back from the intersection. The car was still compressing front springs from braking when passenger door opened. (Enough other posts here today described what happened next.)
Since then, I wear bold red striped shirts or jackets when riding and red helmet.
When they found "Where's Waldo" (or "Where's Wally" for those from UK), I know that they've seen me, and that's the whole point.
I've used this very successfully in my present home of Vancouver, BC. Previously, it also worked well when residing in SF and Seattle. There was a confirmed Waldo sighting near English Bay just yesterday, but now you can call me by my real name.
Except that passengers in the back seats do not have mirrors. Although I never learned the Dutch Reach (but I don't have a driver's license), my dad always warned us as a kid that we should check for cyclists before opening the door.
I live in an area where the parking spots are on the left side of the road. I don't know how common it is for Dutch people to check the mirror for the passengers door. Maybe it just depends on your mother-in-law.
It is a circle with a shelf that faces forward in a way that makes it awkward to use the hand nearest the door to open. So, you reach across your body with your other hand and in doing so, you turn your body and head and your peripheral vision can catch a moving cyclist.
It’s true that we are taught to look over your shoulder when opening a car door, but to label it “the Dutch Reach” is really too much honor. It’s just common sense.
If the handle was at the back of the door it would promote the habit as it would actually be easier to open the door by reaching across with the opposite hand then try to scrunch your door-side arm back to get at the handle.
I wonder where the door handles are located in the majority of cars in Holland.
The hinged end, just like yours.
As a cyclist you have to treat the typical motorist like an idiot with no perception of their surrounding and no knowledge of traffic rules. Sadly the same is true also for cyclists (especially with sunday-nice-weather-cyclists).