While I try to scan parked cars as I’m riding past, looking for folks who might be about to carelessly fling their door open into traffic, it’s a challenge when the streets are busy and there’s so much more vying for my attention. And even if the driver does give a quick glance in the mirror, it’s likely they’re only looking for cars, and rear seat passengers would actually have to turn around to look first. In the Netherlands, drivers are taught to use the opposite arm to open the door, which forces them to twist and increased the likelihood they’ll glance around behind them for a more thorough check.
Until such tactics are implemented everywhere and more people give a damn, there’ll be others turning to gadgets and technology to try to solve the problem…
The system is being developed in two varieties, one for aftermarket retrofit to existing vehicles (which requires the driver to give a damn and pony up money) and a factory installed kit that would come stock on vehicles in the future.
The device would give cyclists a visual heads up when occupants remove their seatbelts, indicating imminent door opening and giving them time to react. Whether that’s slowing down, moving wide after checking for traffic behind them or giving a yell, it’s better than the alternative – hitting the door or an emergency swerve into traffic.
Dooring Alert Systems has volumes of data and anecdotes to support their cause, and they’ll be looking for you to support it on Kickstarter soon. Sign up on their site to get alerts.