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Old 05-15-2020, 09:34 AM   #1
ericr
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Default Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

Does anyone have any evidence, surmises, suppositions etc. that these doors in the '20s and '30s were really that dangerous?
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

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Old 05-15-2020, 10:01 AM   #3
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

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Does anyone have any evidence, surmises, suppositions etc. that these doors in the '20s and '30s were really that dangerous?

The 'suicide' came from the door opening while driving that folded it around the rear fender.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

Well beyond the 20's/30's- I believe Ford's last "suicide door" was on the 1971 four-door Thunderbird. That's just two many doors on a T-Bird!
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

YES I had my drivers door fly open while doing 60 and remembered NOT to grab it and pull me out of my car. I was a 34 three window coupe.
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Old 05-15-2020, 01:45 PM   #6
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I would think if someone was leaning against the door and it flew open then yes they would be considered dangerous...
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

About 60 years ago I was riding with a good friend in his 3 window deuce coupe with a flathead mill. When he hit second gear the door popped open. I managed to catch it when it was about 4 inches out. If it had been caught in the airstream it would have been wrapped around the rear fender or the parked car we were passing. I had a seat belt on so I probably the door would have been jerked out of my hand without pulling me out of the car. I never liked suicide doors after that.

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Old 05-15-2020, 02:17 PM   #8
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:14 PM   #9
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

I flew out twice as a3 or 4 year old when I mistakenly pulled the door handle thinking it was a window crank. I only remember the second time. We were just pulling onto the highway from a stop sign. I landed against the cement wall of a bridge. My parent's took me to the dr, but I don’t think I was hurt too bad. My dad sold the car and got one with conventional doors. This would have been about 1952 or 1953.
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

I opened the rear door on my 29 Town Sedan at about 10 MPH. The door was not completely latched. The wind caught the door and it about broke my arm. I did get the car stopped and the door shut, but I am not sure in what order. lesson learned that day.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

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I flew out twice as a 3 or 4 year old when I mistakenly pulled the door handle thinking it was a window crank.
I imagine if a 3 or 4 year old opened ANY door, suicide or not, while the car was moving wouldn't be a good thing!!
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:25 PM   #12
Richard in Anaheim CA
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

"Back then" when your car wouldn't start, it was pretty common to open the driver door, push the car, jump in and "bump start" it. Not at all uncommon today if you can not recruit a couple of buddys to push from the back.

With suicide doors, opening from the rear, the bottom of the door could catch your leg as you tried to jump in and down you would go, face first on the pavement. If you were lucky, the rear wheel wouldn't run over you, thus a second method of suicide by car door.

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Old 05-15-2020, 09:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

A friend of mine was driving his town sedan. One of his kids was riding in the back seat. The door was not closed all the way and she tried to close it while the car was moving, it was pulled out of her hands, lucky she didn't go with it. The door closes but is sprung.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

As a 3 year old I picked up a toy which had dropped to the floor. I pulled on the door handle to get back on the seat and the rest is history. Fortunately, we were going around a roundabout at a relatively low speed and with the little centrifugal force, I rolled away towards the side walk.
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:57 AM   #15
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

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As a 3 year old I picked up a toy which had dropped to the floor. I pulled on the door handle to get back on the seat and the rest is history. Fortunately, we were going around a roundabout at a relatively low speed and with the little centrifugal force, I rolled away towards the side walk.
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I'm trying to remember, when the doors are locked can you open them with the inside handle? I'm going to check that in the morning and make sure the doors are locked when the little ones are in the back seat. It would be hard to explain where the Grand Kids went.
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Old 05-16-2020, 06:51 AM   #16
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

I had a different experience with "suicide doors" with a 1949 Monarch (Canadian Mercury). There were 4 of us in the car and when I parked, we all started to exit. Unfortunately, my friend on the passengers side jumped out and slammed the door just as his girlfriend in the passengers side rear seat stepped out of the rear door while leaning forward. The front door caught her right across the top of the head. No permanent injury but I don't think their relationship lasted much longer.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:49 AM   #17
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

sorry I like them. Just find it easy to get in and out But with brains. Next door kid fell
out of the rear of a 36 Plymouth going around a corner. He was not hurt but he was
hurt when his old man gave him a good strapping for being stupid...because the strap
and stick was the teaching aid not to say the stick in school . Very common where you
get that black eye boy? teacher now you got two black eyes from the ole man. All gone
now from the do gooders. Then you were an image of the father that came from the
depression, he just did not want his kids to grow up stupid..........
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:07 AM   #18
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

I remember my twin brother going out of the car when the right rear door opened and he hit the road, 1939 Plymouth. I think he was trying to get up on the seat from the floor and grabbed the door handle. We were 4 or 5 years old and this was in the late 40's. He was taken to the DR with minor injuries.
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:32 AM   #19
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

Guys used to install a sliding latch on the inside of suicide doors. Not overly convenient but more safe. At age 9, I fell out of a '37 Dodge pickup when a neighbor helpfully unloaded the bed, after we had unlatched the chains. Fortunately I landed on my head, so was not hurt. That may be only my opinion?
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:56 AM   #20
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Default Re: Were "Suicde Doors" Really Dangerous?

Wow, i have to admit I'm surprised but now very well-informed by the various personal experiences relayed by members.
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