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Uber wants you to stop hitting cyclists with your car door

Uber is using public mapping data to send safety alerts reminding you to double check for cyclists when you open your car door.

The ridesharing service announced today that it would be bringing ‘car-dooring’ precautions to its UK app. The new safety alerts will encourage customers to use the ‘Dutch Reach’ technique when being dropped off near a cycle lane, a share cycle route or an area commonly frequented by cyclists.

The Dutch Reach involves reaching to open the door with the hand furthest away from the door handle, forcing riders to check over their shoulder for oncoming traffic and unwitting cyclists when they reach their destination.

“By cleverly combining data and education, we hope that more passengers will practice caution around cyclists, and ultimately improve the safety on our roads”, said Uber Head of New Mobility Fred Jones. “Whether you’re an Uber passenger or a cyclist we want to help you get there safely”.

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This change comes after Censuswide data suggested that more than one fifth of people forget to check for cyclists before opening a car door on a regular basis and that 16% had actually admitted to opening a car door in front of a cyclist in the past.

The research additionally showed that 66% of cyclists who didn’t feel safe on public roads cited a lack of awareness from other road users as one of their top concerns when it comes to taking their bike out on the road.

“It’s vitally important to educate anyone who uses a car to check before opening their door as every year around 60 cyclists are killed or seriously injured by car dooring incidents. It’s also one of the reasons people tell us puts them off from cycling”, said Cycling UK Head of Campaigns Duncan Dollimore.

“The Dutch Reach is a simple technique that few people use but could make a real difference to the number of collisions in the UK, and combined with Uber’s alert to passengers, encouraging them to look over their shoulders before opening their door, it should mean our roads are becoming safer for cyclists everywhere”.

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This date also comes shortly after Uber’s move into the e-bike market with the launch of JUMP in May. The new safety alerts are set to be a huge reassurance for the company’s newer demographic alongside its usual rideshare users.

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