Does anyone around here have any experience or reviews on any of the emergency/rescue tools (combination window smasher, seatbelt cutter, etc.) out on the market? I see Channellock and Swiss Army have nice but expensive ones, and a lot of non-name brand ones as well but not much in thee way of reviews or comparisons. TIA.
They look all nifty!
I have never known anyone who has actually been in a situation where they would need one. The biggest problem I see is that unless you have the thing out in the open (in the way) you probably would not be able to reach it. If it is in the globe box and your seat belt has you locked down you might be too panicked to reach over and get it our the seat belt might have locked up and be keeping you from reaching it.
In my car I have plenty of other tool that I can break a window with, that are also great tools for when I don’t need them (ie: regular hammer, large 3 D cell flashlight, et cetera). I also always carry a pocket knife. Basically, if I was given one for free, I would keep it in the car, but otherwise I’d rely on what I’ve got.
They actually tested these tools on Mythbusters and the window breakers are amazingly effective under water. Glass gets shattered on contact with these tools.
Yeah, but if I hit it with a regular hammer. I used to do ride-alongs with my uncle while he was an Akron Police officer and have sceen him break windows with the back end of a flash light quite a few times. All you need is point contact with some force.
Why they couldn’t do it with the steel toed boots was because they couldn’t get enough oomph in the confines of the car and the hit was fairly spread out by the with the toe of the boot. The keys didn’t work because a combination of not being able to hold it right (it glancing) and same problem of not enough force behind it.
I have only known one person who came close to needing such a tool and he was not conscious after the accident to have used to to save his life. The chances are so remote that it is not really worth the bother.
Personally, I think that the odds of needing one of these tools are so miniscule that they are not worth the money, but as jsutter said, the most important thing is to be able to reach this tool in case of an emergency. If it is stored in the glove compartment, it will likely do no good. And, if someone decides to store the tool in the trunk, as someone reported in another thread recently, well, then the whole concept just escapes you!
A little anecdote:
Back in the '70s, I noticed that my aunt had sliced the seat belts out of her car because they “annoyed” her, and because they “could trap” her. I pointed out to her that seat belts had been proven to save lives, and her response was, “Well, if my arms were pinned or hurt in an accident, I wouldn’t be able to take the seatbelt off, and I could be trapped in a burning car”. I then asked her how she planned to open the door if her arms were pinned or severely hurt, and of course, she had no answer to that question!
Anyway–If it makes you feel more secure to have one of these tools onboard, then by all means go ahead and buy one. Just remember to have it very close to the driver’s seat, in a location where it would not be dislodged by impact or rollover.
Thanks for the input folks! From my own ponderings and your comments I think the large/heavy tools are a no-go. You don’t want a big tool flying through the car in an accident, and tucking one safely in the glove compartment or worse, the trunk, renders them useless. A couple of the smaller units can be kept on a keychain or attached to the visor and might come in handy. This is, BTW, actually for my wife, for whom it will grant some peace of mind. If it ever saves her, or my life, I’ll post back and let you know. Thanks again.
Well, the best use for those tools is to assist OTHERS. Just like the way many rescue personal carry spring-loaded punches to “pop” a side window. If everyone had some kind of tool it’s possible to help out, but the marketing is such to sell based on fear not common sense like others pointed out (pinned, unconcious, panic)