When opening the driver’s side door of your car or truck, there’s a blind spot created by the pillars. You can look over your shoulder, but it’s easy to miss a small road user like a cyclist or motorcyclist if they are riding quite close to the edge of the road. If you open your door in front of them, this would cause an accident.
You can get a better view by turning your whole body, so there’s a technique of opening your door called the Dutch Reach which automatically makes you do that. You simply reach for the driver’s side door handle with your left hand (assuming you’re driving a right-hand drive vehicle) and this makes your body turn so you can more easily look behind you down the right-hand side of the vehicle.
The same applies for people walking on the pavement. When you exit the passenger side, right across with your right hand and this will make you turn around so you can see behind the vehicle.
So, the basic rule is to use the hand opposite the door to open the door.
There are some scenarios where this might not be possible if you have restricted mobility through obesity, pregnancy or other factors. In this case, you should take extra care by moving your head to get a good view in the side mirrors before opening the door.