In old movies, there are commonly cabs and other glamorous vehicles that have their doors open in a way that looks backwards to us. While these old-fashioned vehicles look quite glamorous, the backwards doors were, and are, a significant safety problem.
The problem with rear-opening doors, known as rear-hinged or coach doors, is that air flow and other problems made it quite easy for the doors to open while the vehicle was in motion. This, in the event that a passenger was not actually wearing a seatbelt, can allow passengers of the vehicle to fall out while the vehicle is still moving. The same problem occurs in the event of an accident. Because of this problem, the term “suicide door” came into being.
The opportunity for opening does not occur at all times. It mainly occurs when the door becomes unlatched a tiny bit. The wind will catch in the opening, if the car is moving at a sufficiently high speed, and pull the door open the rest of the way. This problem is exacerbated by the physics of going around a turn or a bend in the road, creating a low-pressure spot which allows the door to pop open and remain open.
There are still some cars with coach doors on the rear seats. These, for the most part, have front doors that overlap with the rear door preventing the leading edge of the door from being exposed to air. Another modern device to prevent coach doors from opening is a safety latch that engages and does not allow the doors to open unless the vehicle is stationary. This is an electronic device that is used on both London cabs and the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Contact a Wisconsin Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a poorly designed motor vehicle, contact the Wisconsin car accident attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 800-242-2874.