Suicide doors are a unique car door design where the doors are hinged at the rear rather than the front. These doors are also known as coach doors or rear-hinged doors. They were originally used on horse-drawn carriages and were later used on cars in the early 1900s. However, they are now rarely found on modern vehicles due to safety concerns.
Despite their name, suicide doors do not actually pose a significant risk to passengers. The name “suicide doors” originated in the 1960s due to the perception that the doors were unsafe. However, this is not entirely true. In fact, many cars with suicide doors have been crash-tested and have been found to be just as safe as cars with traditional doors. Nevertheless, car manufacturers have moved away from this design in recent years.
History of Suicide Doors
Suicide doors, also known as rear-hinged doors, have a long history in the automobile industry. They were common on cars manufactured in the first half of the 20th century, including the iconic Citroën Traction Avant. The design was popular because it allowed for easier access to the back seats of cars.
The term “suicide doors” came about in the 1960s due to safety concerns. The doors were considered unsafe for passengers because they could open unexpectedly while the car was in motion, causing passengers to fall out of the vehicle. However, modern safety features such as seatbelts and door locks have made suicide doors much safer than they were in the past.
Today, suicide doors are not as common as they once were, but they are still used in some vehicles by manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce, Lincoln, and Mazda. Carmakers often refer to them as “coach doors” or “FlexDoors” to avoid the negative connotations associated with the term “suicide doors.”
Despite their name, suicide doors are not inherently dangerous. When used properly and with the right safety features, they can be a unique and stylish addition to a car’s design.
Design and Mechanics
Suicide doors, also known as rear-hinged doors, have a distinct design that sets them apart from traditional car doors. Unlike regular doors that have hinges in the front, suicide doors are hinged at the rear and open in the opposite direction. This design allows for wider entry and exit points, making it easier for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle.
The hinges on suicide doors are located at the rear of the door, which makes them vulnerable to damage in the event of a collision. As a result, car manufacturers have had to come up with innovative solutions to reinforce the doors and make them safer for passengers. One such solution is the use of reinforced frames, which help distribute the impact of a collision across the entire door.
Suicide doors also have unique door handles that are located near the rear of the door. This design allows for easy access to the handle from the inside of the car, but it can be tricky to open the door from the outside. To address this issue, some car manufacturers have added additional handles to the front of the door, making it easier for passengers to open the door from both the inside and outside.
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Usage and Popularity
Suicide doors were once a popular feature in the automotive industry, but their usage has declined over the years due to safety concerns. However, they still have a place in the hearts of car enthusiasts and collectors.
Suicide doors were a common feature in classic cars, especially in the 1930s and 1940s. These cars were known for their luxury and style, and suicide doors added to their aesthetic appeal. Classic cars with suicide doors include the 1930 Cadillac V-16, 1941 Lincoln Continental, and the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado.
In modern cars, suicide doors are much less common. However, some car manufacturers have brought them back in limited production models. For example, Rolls-Royce introduced the Phantom Drophead Coupe in 2007, which features suicide doors. Other modern cars with suicide doors include the Mazda RX-8 and the Lincoln Continental Concept.
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While suicide doors may look stylish and unique, they do come with some safety concerns. The name “suicide doors” itself suggests that these doors can be dangerous for passengers. The primary safety concern with suicide doors is that they can easily swing open while the vehicle is in motion, which can result in serious injuries or even fatalities.
Another safety concern with suicide doors is that they can be challenging to close properly. Passengers need to ensure that the door is securely latched before the vehicle starts moving. Otherwise, the door can swing open, which can be dangerous for both the passengers inside and other drivers on the road.
Moreover, suicide doors can be difficult to operate, especially for children or elderly passengers. These doors tend to be heavier than traditional car doors, making them harder to open and close. Passengers need to be careful not to get their fingers caught in the door while closing it.
While suicide doors may look cool, it is essential to consider the safety concerns before choosing a car with this feature. It is crucial to ensure that passengers can operate these doors safely and that they are secure while the vehicle is in motion.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Suicide doors, also known as coach doors, have a unique and stylish appearance that sets them apart from traditional car doors. They give a car a classic and elegant look that many car enthusiasts admire. Additionally, the doors make it easier for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle, which can be especially helpful for those with mobility issues.
However, some people may find the doors to be too unconventional or unsafe. The doors open in the opposite direction, which can be confusing for passengers and drivers who are not used to them. Additionally, the doors can be dangerous if they are not properly secured, as they can swing open while the car is in motion.
One of the main advantages of suicide doors is that they provide easier access to the back seat of a car. This is because the doors open wider than traditional doors, allowing passengers to enter and exit the vehicle more easily. This can be especially helpful for families with young children or elderly passengers who may have difficulty getting in and out of a car.
However, some people may find the doors to be less secure than traditional doors. The doors are hinged at the back, which means that they can be more easily forced open if someone tries to break into the car. Additionally, the doors can be more difficult to close properly, which can lead to air leaks and other issues.