Uber is urging passengers to use a technique known as a “Dutch Reach” to avoid injuring cyclists on public roads in the UK.
While it may sound like a euphemism, a Dutch Reach is actually a simple technique that ensures you always look over your shoulder 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.
The technique is taught and used in many other countries, but a recent poll showed that only 12% of the general UK population was aware of the Dutch Reach.
Among those surveyed, 22% admitted they thought it was a type of a Dutch beer, 19% thought it was a handshake, and 15% thought it was a yoga pose.
Uber has teamed up with Cycling UK to produce a hard-hitting virtual reality film, highlighting the dangers of car-dooring and how to do the Dutch Reach.
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 Dutch Reach.
It will be shared with the millions of people who use the Uber app in the UK, including more than 5 million passengers and 60,000 licensed drivers.
“Using a simple Dutch Reach technique can save lives and we’re proud to be working with Cycling UK to make this a habit,” said Fred Jones, Head of New Mobility at Uber.
“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.”
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.
“We know 60 cyclists are killed or seriously injured across Britain every year by car dooring incidents,” said Duncan Dollimore, Head of Campaigns at Cycling UK.
“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.”
A recent survey of 2,000 British adults by Censuswide revealed that almost half (44%) of cyclists don’t feel safe cycling on public roads.
Top concerns included badly marked or insufficient cycling lanes (51%), car-dooring (41%) and a lack of awareness from other road users (66%).