Fletchers Solicitors are proud to support the ‘Dutch Reach’ campaign #TeachTheReach, a road safety initiative designed to improve the safety of cyclists on public roads across the UK.
Directed by Cycling UK, #TeachTheReach will educate motorists to look over their shoulder before opening their door.
Every year, hundreds of accidents go unreported after vehicle doors open into the path of unsuspecting cyclists and motorcyclists and as one of the UK’s leading serious injury firms, Fletchers has a great track record at representing a number of victims who have fallen foul to related road collisions.
Last year, Fletchers settled a case that involved, Dr Robert Hamilton, a retired University Lecturer and much-loved husband who died after he was hit by the door of a stationary car, which was opened by a motorist who failed to check for passing cyclists first.
Because of such experiences, Jennifer Nolan, Head of Serious Injury is completely behind Cycling UK’s campaign.
We welcome people joining the campaign to raise awareness of Dutch Reach. It is something we are passionate about as we have seen first-hand the devastation that ‘car dooring’ can cause to vulnerable road users.
We want people to be educated around the importance of looking out for cyclists, motorcyclists and other road users and make the roads safer.
Fletchers have also welcomed the news that changes must be made to the Highway Code to include the Dutch Reach after the Government announced they would review the code in light of rising road-side casualties.
Despite this, it is reported only 12% of the general UK population are aware of the Dutch Reach, with those surveyed admitting they thought it was actually a Dutch beer (22%), a handshake (19%) or a yoga pose (15%).
Cycling UK will now promote a hard-hitting virtual reality film aimed at educating drivers and how to effectively use the Dutch Reach.
It can be viewed at www.cyclinguk.org/dutchreach.
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.
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 percent 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.