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Exiting vehicles in movies


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I am watching The Wrong Man and noticed something which I have always wondered about-Henry Fonda and Vera Miles are returning from their vacation spot looking for witnesses to their whereabouts on the day Henry is accused of robbing a life insurance office. They stop the car and both exit the vehicle on the passenger side. I see drivers in old movies exiting on the passenger side all the time. Is there a technical reason why drivers in old movies always seem to exit the vehicle on the passenger side? This may be the most trivial question yet posted here:)

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To keep from opening the driver's door into traffic? Was that illegal at one time? (It hasn't been, or hasn't been enforced at least, as long as I've had a license, but I remember people getting out the other side in the 1950s as a matter of course. Awkward if the one who was getting out was on the far side of the car and you were the little kid beside the curb door.)

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I think it had something to do with the way cars were constructed in the old days. On many 4-passenger models, the driver's side front door did not open -- a feature carried over well into the 1920s. So you had to slide out the passenger side regardless, and I guess people continued the practice just out of habit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

my mom and dad always did that too, and so did us kids in the back seat its so you don't open your door in to the traffic and get killed and so you can step out on to the curb and not into water or grime in the gutter. that's what i know, right or wrong my dad always walked nearest the road with mom and or us kids to the in side away from the road, so if some one jumped the curb it would be him hit not us. yours, aerosmithlisa

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This all makes sense. I did not grow up in an urban area so no one exited the vehicle in such a manner when I was a child. Of course no one does it anymore even in urban areas. I can imagine trying to haul my stiff old body over a console or into the next bucket seat to exit on the passenger side:)

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