The Dutch are bringing a new aspect of car safety to the world's attention by explaining that you should always use your right hand to open your driver's side door.
Bike culture is an integral part of life in Amsterdam and other cities in the Netherlands.
via: Wikimedia CommonsThanks to biking's popularity, the Dutch also lay claim to some of the world's best bike lanes and bike laws.
One of their most well-known rules is known as the “Dutch reach," due to how famous it's become.
via: FlickrIt feels most instinctual to open the driver's side door with your left hand when you exit your vehicle, but Dutch citizens use the counterintuitive right hand to prevent multiple problems.
For one thing, car doors opening suddenly can lead to scratching or denting the car next to yours.
via: FlickrBut cosmetic damage aside, the biggest threat car doors pose is to bicyclists.
Bike accidents in which the cyclist runs into an open car door happen so frequently that they now have a name: "Dooring."
via: PixabayIt's been estimated that dooring accounts for roughly one-fifth of all bicycle accidents. Generally, this happens when a cyclist is speeding along in a bike lane, and someone in a parked car opens their car door unexpectedly.
The driver doesn't see the biker, and the biker doesn't have enough time to react or change course. Sadly, this phenomenon has been responsible for at least 25 known deaths.
via: Wikimedia CommonsSo what's the deal with the left hand, you may ask?
If you use your left hand to push your car door open, it's easy to continue facing forward and not notice a potentially dangerous situation behind you.
via: YouTubeBut if you use your right hand to open the door, you make yourself turn your whole upper body to face the rear.
This way, you're physically reminded to check your surroundings for any potential problems.
via: Life AspireNot a bad idea, right?
Even without making a point to look, the action in itself should make you aware of everyone around you.
via: Wikimedia CommonsThis means that not only will you avoid clotheslining a cyclist, you'll also be able to avoid run-ins with pedestrians or scrapes with other cars.