When opening the door of a vehicle with your closest arm – the left arm when exiting on the left side of the vehicle, for instance – your body is positioned straight ahead. A turn of the neck is required to see the side mirror, and a twist of the body is required to clear the blindspots of the mirror. Both of these movements require explicit motivation. With the dutch reach, you reach across your body with the opposite arm – your right arm when exiting on the left side of the vehicle. This forces your body to twist. You are automatically positioned to see the side mirror, and only a slight twist of the neck is required to clear the mirror’s blindspots.
The dutch reach is marketed as part of bicycle safety. As a biker I appreciate this, but I think this is only a small component of the method. It is about situational awareness. Sitting in a parked car is a vulnerable position – exiting more so. It is rational to want to know what you are about to step into when exiting.
Perhaps rebranding it as “tactical vehicle egress” would promote wider adoption.