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#235958 - 11/20/11 09:56 PM Cutting seat belts-How often?
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7307
Loc: southern Cal
On the current "EDC-Air Travel" thread, as on many others, there is mention of the need for a seat belt cutter, needed in order to free a person from a seat belt, presumably jammed as a result of impact. I am curious, just how often does this situation occur in real life? Are there any data? Anecdotes are fun, but data would be better. I hope to hear from those with actual experience in cutting victims free....

Just a question posed on a slow, mellow rainy afternoon.....
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Geezer in Chief

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#235960 - 11/20/11 10:04 PM Re: Cutting seat belts-How often? [Re: hikermor]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Data is good.

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#235961 - 11/20/11 10:05 PM Re: Cutting seat belts-How often? [Re: hikermor]
Leo Offline
Stranger

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 24
Loc: Colorado
Don't know about aircraft but with auto wrecks I cut the seat belt rather than lean in and over the patient to release the buckle. Especialy important if the airbag hasn't deployed. I don't know if any were actualy jammed.
leo

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#235964 - 11/20/11 10:35 PM Re: Cutting seat belts-How often? [Re: hikermor]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
A close friend of mine (an insurance adjuster) was driving the company car to the site of an incident. Her company (Farmer's Insurance) had received notice of defective seat belt anchors, but chose to ignore it.

A man ran the red light from a cross street and she t-boned him. The seatbelt anchor pulled loose and her head and shoulders slammed into the windshield and and its frame.

I know this isn't the answer you wanted, but if a car company can build cars with defective seat belt anchors, do you think they might also be making some defective seat belt latches?

I can see how an accident could jam the belt, or it could have been damaged prior to the accident, or maybe it's just old and worn out.

If it only happens to one person a year, and you or your wife or child are that victim.....

Sue

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#235969 - 11/20/11 11:31 PM Re: Cutting seat belts-How often? [Re: hikermor]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
According to this NHTSA webpage, it says:
Quote:
Crash data and law enforcement crash reports show that belts jam in crashes fewer than one percent of the time.

Considering the large number of crashes every year, that's not an insignificant number of jammed belts nationwide. Now, whether a jammed belt made any difference in survival...that's a separate question.

So, take your chance of being in a crash *and* having a belt jam *and* being in a situation where you must get out of the belt quickly....that's a pretty small number for most of us, I think.

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#235972 - 11/20/11 11:54 PM Re: Cutting seat belts-How often? [Re: hikermor]
Matt26 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 309
Loc: Vermont
This last February, after nearly 22 years as a volunteer firefighter I cut my first seat belt. It was a fatal rollover and we could not access the buckle. Otherwise I have never not been able to unbuckle a seat belt.
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If it ain't bleeding, it doesn't hurt.

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#235981 - 11/21/11 01:02 AM Re: Cutting seat belts-How often? [Re: hikermor]
THIRDPIG Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/26/01
Posts: 81

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#235985 - 11/21/11 01:29 AM Re: Cutting seat belts-How often? [Re: hikermor]
samhain Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/30/05
Posts: 598
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
I've only had my seatbelt latch jam once (in 30 years). I was sitting in my carport and jimmied around with it to get it loose. This was a case of my sticking the belt in catty-wampers (hard to picture given the thousands of times we do it, but it happened).

It was only once, and a no-stress situation, but the thought of it happening while the car's on fire or upside down in a ditch kinda spooked me a little. I carry a Res-q-me on my keyring (in addition to pocket knife/ multitool) now and keep one in the DW and DD's cars.

They'll probably never need them, but they humor me, and I feel better. They love me enough to humor me...
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peace,
samhain autumnwood

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#236028 - 11/21/11 12:17 PM Re: Cutting seat belts-How often? [Re: Matt26]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
Originally Posted By: Matt26
This last February, after nearly 22 years as a volunteer firefighter I cut my first seat belt. It was a fatal rollover and we could not access the buckle. Otherwise I have never not been able to unbuckle a seat belt.

9 years in EMS and I never cut one. Anecdotal, I know, but all I got.

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#236032 - 11/21/11 01:11 PM Re: Cutting seat belts-How often? [Re: hikermor]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1616
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
not an answer, but my rationale...there have been several fatal incidents with older Floridians (like me) in retention ponds... in addition to my EDC clip folder, I have a Newt Livesay neck knife and spring loaded punch on a piece of 550 cord looped around my cigarette plug... a second punch is Ranger banded to my 2D LED mag lite in the console

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