New safety initiative to keep cyclists safe

Uber is launching a new safety initiative to customers to ensure they look out for cyclists when opening the car doors in popular cycling areas.

In research carried out by the company, it was reported that 16% of people have opened the door in the path of a cyclist before, as they failed to check their surroundings.

The new safety feature, with reference to the “Dutch Reach technique,” will encourage customers to open the door using the hand that is furthest away from the door handle, forcing them to look for oncoming traffic.

Uber have said the new tool will use a publicly available map alongside an Uber user’s journey to send a reminder before they are dropped off in a cyclist user area including cycle lanes and shared cycle routes.

In 2017, there were 18,321 casualties as a result of a cycling accident, with 101 of those casualties being fatal.

In a report from ROSPA, it was found that around 75% of fatal or serious cyclist accidents occur in urban areas, 75% happen at, or near, a road junction and around three quarters of cyclists killed have major head injuries.

The report also found that in collisions that involved a vehicle, the common contributory factor recorded by the police is the failure to look properly.

Uber are hoping that the initiative, backed by cycling charity Cycling UK, will have sent out more than 5 million alerts to customers by the end of October. 

James Pritchard, Personal Injury solicitor and cycling specialist at Macks Solicitors says “Having a company the size of Uber recommending this technique to their customers is great, but we should go further. The Dutch Reach is such a simple thing but could prevent accidents and potentially save lives.  It should be taught to new drivers on their tests until it becomes second nature.”


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