Problem: When getting out of the car on a busy street you open your car door and wham, you get hit by a passing car. (Example). Okay, maybe that’s overkill, but I do have a genuine fear of getting hit by cars on a busy street as I open my car door.
Idea: Car manufacturers and owners alike should put reflective tape on the interior part of the door that is perpendicular to the street when the door is opened.
The big advantage here is that this promotes bidirectional safety. The driver is looking in their exit side mirror before opening the door, but the reflective tape now gives approaching motorist an extra tool to avoid collisions which doubles the chance of safety. Furthermore, since this is the first part of the driver’s door an approaching motorist would see the reflective tape would be visible before any part of the drivers body is out the door. This improvement eliminates a lot of the possibilities that put people in harm’s way.
This is expected to be a low-cost solution in that the tape and application of said tape should not be terribly difficult or expensive to implement. There is also a low social impact, as there need not be a lot of training to get drivers to understand what to do if they see a shiny strip appear in front of them as they speed down the road, slow down and make room.
Value added features may include a glow in the dark option for curb side doors where the oncoming traffic may be a pedestrian or bike and may not have effective lighting to maximize a reflective strip. One could also put a small colored or flashing light instead of tape to be more visible during the day. This is obviously more complex than tape.