entering cars on wrong side

Hi folks,

Why do people in older movies always enter the car from the passenger’s side? Even if there are two people, they’ll both enter from the passenger’s side–the first will just slide over to make room.

Thank you!

Older cars tended to have bench seats, making it an easy matter to get in on the sidewalk side and then slide over to the driver’s position.

When I went through driver’s education 30 years ago, I remember them saying that you enter & exit the vehicle curbside. I think that was the “official” way of doing things.

I think the real reason is that it looked better for the camera. You could point the lens through the windshield and get both people in frame without one body crossing in front and blocking view.

Also many of the “cars” were also tricked-out shells with a camera attached, in which case actors had to enter from one side. This allowed them to be properly lit and miked. The car driving off would be from another shot.

Well, you don’t have to walk out next to traffic that way, when you’re parallel parked in an urban setting. Makes sense from a certain perspective.

Slight hijack… My sister saw Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, arrive at a garden party in Edinburgh last summer. The Queen got out of the car first, on the passenger side of the back seat, and the Duke scrunched across the seat to get out right behind her. I guess getting out on the opposite side of Her Majesty just isn’t done. :dubious:

They taught this in driver’s ed in the 1970s??

They taught it in driver’s ed in the 1980s when I took it. The preferred, safest method of getting in and out of a parallel parked car is through the curb side doors.

It’s just not very practical.

AFAIK, it’s for legal reasons. It’s not usually against the law to enter/exit on the driver’s side, but it’s the door opener’s fault if a passing car clips the door. It’s the door opener’s responsiblility to make sure it’s safe to do so. Having said that, I have to point out that even many city dwellers are unaware of this.

I often get in my 95 F150 that way, it has a bench seath. The way I park it the passenger door is closer, and to get to the driver’s door I have to wade through bushes.

Grampa’s old Renault had a bench front seat; both the handbrake and gears lever came out of the dashboard instead of up from the floor.

So he did enter from the kerb and slid over.

When I learned to drive, NYC early 60’s, I was told it was technicaly illegal to enter or exit a vehicle from the street side. Sorry, no cite. As pointed out, virtually all vehicles had bench seats.

Do we get in and out from the street side? Of course we did, unless there was a lot of traffic.

I see Alstate Insurance is running a TV ad about their Accident Forgiveness policy. A car is comming down the street and wipes the door off a parked car as the driver attempts to exit. Must happen a lot. :eek: