Addison Lee, the UK’s premium car service, has partnered with 4x UK Olympic cycling gold medallist, Laura Kenny, to launch the ‘Addison Lean’ initiative – a manoeuvre which encourages car drivers and passengers to exit the car correctly and protect cyclists from a ‘car-dooring’ accident – where they are hit by a car door being opened carelessly. The company is calling for the move to be included in the Highway Code after data showed that 65% of UK cyclists have either been involved in a ‘car-dooring’ accident, or know someone that has, with over half of those in an accident (54%) injured as result. At the same time, the government is pushing for the number of cyclists to double by 2025.
Originally conceived in the Netherlands – where it’s known as ‘The Dutch Reach’ and forms part of the Dutch driving test – the ‘Addison Lean’ manoeuvre involves drivers opening the door with the hand furthest away from the car door, forcing them to lean across and look into their wing mirror, meaning they can see approaching cyclists.
The move has already been incorporated into Addison Lee’s driver training, with the ambition of training all 5000 drivers on the initiative. In-car signage will also be used to ensure passengers are aware of how to exit the car safely and help make roads safer.
Laura Kenny CBE said: ‘With cycling’s increased popularity, being hit by a car door as it is opened, is a serious threat to the cyclist. That’s why I’m supporting Addison Lee and their Addison Lean initiative, a simple manoeuvre that every driver can use to protect themselves and cyclists.’
After incidents involving Addison Lee drivers and cycle couriers, Addison Lee commissioned research to get a picture of the extent of the problem of ‘car-dooring’. In a poll of 2,000 cyclists:
65% of cyclists surveyed have been involved in a ‘car dooring’ incident themselves, or know someone who has
54% of those involved in an accident are injured; Of these, 78% are either hospitalised, or forced to take time off work
43% of cyclists who have been ‘car-doored’ have considered giving up cycling
84% think it should be included the Highway Code
As well as in-car signage, wing mirror stickers have been created to remind road users of the manoeuvre and Addison Lee will be offering them free of charge to members of the public.
Andy Boland, Addison Lee’s CEO said: “Safety is at the core of what Addison Lee does – not just for passengers, but for drivers, cyclists and all road users. With car dooring such a widespread problem, adopting the Addison Lean – a straightforward manoeuvre that protects everyone on the road – makes perfect sense.“
He added: “We hope that The Highway Code will also take the Addison Lean on board.”
Helen Chapman, TfL’s Director of Licensing, Charging and Regulation, said: “Our Vision Zero approach has the ambitious goal of eradicating deaths and serious injuries from London’s roads by 2041. We are investing in safer junctions, removing the most dangerous vehicles from the roads and developing a world-leading bus safety standard.
“However, we can’t achieve our goal alone and need the support of local government, campaigners and the wider transport industry. This initiative by Addison Lee is to be applauded and should set a template for others to follow. Educating private hire drivers and their passengers about the perils of opening a car door on a cyclist will help to guard against one of the most common collisions involving those on two wheels.”
James Durbin, CEO of Madison Sports Group who own and operate the Six Day professional track cycling series, said: ‘We welcome the initiative that our valued Six Day London Commercial Partner, Addison Lee, is promoting. As passionate advocates of cycling, at all levels, we recognise safety for cyclists on the roads as a matter of significant importance. We are delighted to be part of the Addison Lean campaign and think it will make a real difference in improving road safety for all cyclists.”