Driver’s door ripped off by fellow motorist but people split on who’s to blame

Dramatic footage captures the moment a driver narrowly avoids serious injury as his car door is ripped from its hinges after he opens it into the path of a passing vehicle.

Driving Instructor Peter Scott was driving past the parked green Range Rover Freelander in a Sunderland Street when the collision took place.

He capture the white-knuckle moment on his dash-cam as he passed close to a driver testing centre as a white Ford Fiesta travelled in the opposite direction.

The footage captures the driver of the Freelander appearing to open his door without looking, and the Fiesta smashes into it – bending it back on itself and ripping it from its hinges.

The driver appears in shock as he gets out of the vehicle and begins to pick up his possessions strewn across the road.

The Highway code rule 239 states that you must ensure you do not hit anyone when you open your door – check for cyclists or other traffic.

Peter, 57, from DrewMatic Driving School shared the footage online and wrote: “Thankfully nobody was hurt, but this is an example why you should check your mirrors and blind spots before exiting your vehicle, and why you should try to pass a doors width from parked vehicles.”

The clip has been viewed tens of thousands of times – but viewers were divided over who was to blame over the August 19 incident.

One user commented: “The f***n idiot in the Freelander is at fault, pick up yer door ya stupid are you’ll no be dain that again.”

Another said: “This happened to a friend of mine and the plonker opening the door was at fault in both insurance company’s eyes.”

A third wrote: “If the fiesta had been a cyclist things would be different, always check before throwing your door open into passing traffic.”

A fourth added: “This is why you should always open the door with the arm furthest from the damn door.

“It stops you opening it quickly and forces your body to turn to look behind you as you open the door to see if anything is oncoming.”

This technique is widely known as the ‘Dutch reach.’

It means reaching across to open the door with the hand furthest from the door – using your left hand if you are the driver.

Many cyclists urge more drivers in the UK to use the technique commonly used in the Netherlands, where bikes are commonplace on the roads.

Northumbria Police were unable to find any record of the incident being reported to them.

A spokesman for the force said: “Anyone who sees anybody driving in a dangerous manner is asked to report it to Police by calling 101.”