Suicide doors – they sound intriguing, don’t they? Well, they are an invention from the 1930s, mostly used by gangsters. The idea behind the invention is that any sudden attempt to push open these doors may result in an accident. The best part about these doors is that they open from the hinges. But, the rear doors open to the back. A strong wind is more than enough to push open these doors.
Who Invented Suicide Doors?
The story of suicide doors starts in 1965. Ralph Nader, in his book ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’, mentions the less-than-impressive safety aspects of Chevrolet Corvair. He also mentions that carmakers, while making them were unaware of the defensive mechanism the car needs to have. Similarly, he emphasizes the danger lurking for pedestrians as the roads fling open upwards with a force. Thirdly, he also points out the risk of travelers falling out on the road.
Like the two sides of a coin, suicide doors are beneficial and risky at the same time. The element of risk here is that pedestrians are likely to get jammed between the doors of two such cars. On the other hand, these cars free the chauffeurs from their duty of standing by the car to open doors.
A Brief History About the Rear-Hinged Doors
Since the early 19th century, most cars began to come with double doors. This reflected the idea of belonging to the financially well-off category. Also, what made these cars with suicide doors unique is that they looked similar to a horse carriage, but ran on engines.
The first cars came with a unique French design. People began to use it as a means to show off their wealth. Also, its elegant looks became its unique factor of demand. Moreover, these hinged doors made it easy for travelers to enter and exit, especially for women wearing long gowns. By 1998, car manufacturers came up with a solution to ensure the safety of travelers. The front door was to be opened before the rear doors. This kept the passengers stuck to their seats.
As the cars grew in size, the threats regarding their doors also started increasing. Doors began to fling open in the wind, posing more dangers, and taking the lives of passengers. However, in the present times, it is Tesla who restarted the concept of suicide doors.
Benefits of Rear-Hinged Doors
- Allows easy and comfortable seating to passengers.
- They add space to the seating.
- Gives easy access to rear doors.
- Helps in easy loading and unloading.
- Easy to install child seats.
Cons of Rear-Hinged Doors
- It May not always be a comfortable option
- The carelessness of the driver can cause major injuries to the passengers.
- Bit higher on the production side.
- Suicide doors opening upwards can hit the pedestrians.
- Doors may open at high speed due to aerodynamics.
- New designs may cost pricier
Cars with Rear-Hinged Doors
The following cars that currently come with suicide doors:
- Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition.
- Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
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