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#278939 - 01/22/16 10:34 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6788
Loc: southern Cal
quoting AKSAR: "Having some means to cut seat belts makes sense for rescuing others. However, I don't think there is often much need for a tool in self rescue. In the vast majority of cases, the best self rescue tool is going to be your hand, simply reaching the buckle and releasing it in the usual manner. "

War story time: Many years ago, I was riding in the passenger seat of a cargo van when it did a 3/4 roll. I wound up hanging on my side from the seat belt (at that moment I really became a believer in seat belt use).. Unbuckling was automatic and easily accomplished.

I would sy my mental faculties were clouded. My first thought was to take pictures for the insurance company.


Edited by hikermor (01/23/16 01:06 AM)
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#278942 - 01/22/16 11:26 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: AKSAR]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1752
Originally Posted By: AKSAR

I also found your comments on how newer cars require different rescue methods interesting. I was reading an article awhile back that made similar points about airport fire/rescue teams. Newer designs and materials have made air crashes more survivable, but also require different methods for fire/rescue teams to put out the fires and get people out.


The rapid changes in new car design really effect the rescue training and equipment. Keeping up to date with the latest development and equipment is increasinly more important, but expensive and challenging. More training time and being able to practise on new vehicles is hard. (you generally get trained with junkyard cars, which are generally older and do not have all the modern safety features).

I do think safety features on cars are good. In most countries traffic is one of the highest causes of death after health related issues. I have always checked the crash rating before buying a car and bought the one of the safest ones I could find in my segment and i can afford.

As for releasing your self out of a seatbelt in weird positions. Regardsless of which methode you use to release the seatbelt. Just releasing the seatbelt while being in a weird position can mean you fall on your head and cause (more) injury.

The taught methode for releasing your self while being up side down is:
- Raise both legs and place them on the dash.
- Use the legs to push your body in to your seat. Push hard enough so, you are able to support your body weight in that position.
- One arm raised to support you body when you come down.
- Release seatbelt and roll away.
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#278943 - 01/22/16 11:26 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: ireckon]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
I have a heavy serrated folder with the glass breaker tip protruding from the handle's end always at hand in the car, clipped to the DIY cutout in the side of the belt's well (along the car's side beam) and also attached to it with a short lanyard. That piece of the frame seems to have an equal chance of surviving in the crash as myself. I don't like the slot like mini cutters, as for example, under the water your vision will be quite inadequate for using it on the belt, especially under the stress. A knife like tool is the way to go here, IMO, as you have much more experience using such a tool.

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#278944 - 01/22/16 11:39 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: Tjin]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: Tjin
... A warning on the ResQme, occasionaly check the spring. I have had one were the spring got loose and the windows punch became useless. You could hear the spring rattle inside when you shake it.


Thanks for that good tip. I just checked mine, and it's still working properly.

Earlier, I found that one of the rescue tools I carry in my trunk (Channel Lock 89) had gotten wet and heavily rusted. It was quite a job to strip off all the rust, sharpen and restore tool!

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#278947 - 01/23/16 12:00 AM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: JeffMc]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5063
Loc: SOCAL
How much of a swing does it take to break a side-window of a car? Are the carbide glass breakers on knives useful if you are inside the vehicle or are they more for a responder on the outside? Just thinking that I may add a ResQme to the available equipment; as I understand it does not require room to swing as do other tools. Is that correct?

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#278951 - 01/23/16 12:34 AM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: Russ]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: Russ
How much of a swing does it take to break a side-window of a car? Are the carbide glass breakers on knives useful if you are inside the vehicle or are they more for a responder on the outside? Just thinking that I may add a ResQme to the available equipment; as I understand it does not require room to swing as do other tools. Is that correct?


IMO, the spring loaded center punch is the tool of choice for automotive window breaking. It works on either the inside or outside of the side window, but not the windshield. Here's a short video demo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5f7pZX61Bo

But, if you can, wear gloves and eye protection, or expect a few nicks and cuts, since it is basically impossible to prevent your hand from continuing through the hole you just made. You can easily pick out the remaining broken glass if necessary.

A pointed impact tool, like carbide tipped whatever, takes a surprising amount of force to break side window glass, and it can also rebound off the glass nastily. For self-rescue from the inside, I suggest a spring loaded center punch, so I concur with your choice of a ResQme or something similar. I like the ResQme in particular because it combines a punch with a seatbelt cutter, the blade is entirely covered by the attachment clip, and it's light, compact and small enough to fit on a key ring, although mine is mounted to a little loop of shock cord around the turn signal stalk.

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#278952 - 01/23/16 12:53 AM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: JeffMc]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5063
Loc: SOCAL
Okay, so pressing the tool into the window compresses the spring with trips and breaks the glass. I do have a pair of flight gloves (Nomex w/ leather palm) n the console for this but I time would need to be on my side. Most of what I carry is to act as a responder, not as a victim.

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#278961 - 01/23/16 12:35 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: Alex]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1752
Originally Posted By: Alex
I have a heavy serrated folder with the glass breaker tip protruding from the handle's end always at hand in the car, clipped to the DIY cutout in the side of the belt's well (along the car's side beam) and also attached to it with a short lanyard. That piece of the frame seems to have an equal chance of surviving in the crash as myself.


Don't know what you drive. Do make sure it will not interfere with the side and window airbags and the seatbelt pretensioner and loadlimiter (not sure what the belt well is). Also note. that the the side and windows airbags will cover the B-pilar (window airbags generally go fron the A to C pillar.) You will need to push those away. The window airbag is design to stay inflated much longer then the front airbag, as it has to protect you for longer during a roll over and i prevents bodyparts from sticking out during a roll over.

Originally Posted By: Russ
Okay, so pressing the tool into the window compresses the spring with trips and breaks the glass.


For succes at first try, swing a spring tool too. When I just put a ResQme on the glass and gently start pushing I need 2 - 3 tries. If just hold it in my hands and ram the glass with the punch, i have had instant succes.
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#278963 - 01/23/16 03:12 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: Tom_L]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6788
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: Tom_L


A self-rescue scenario on the other hand is a different matter. You might get knocked unconscious or hurt pretty badly. People react differently to that sort of thing so it's good knowing (through training or previous experience) how you react under real stress.


This discussion so far seems to assume that getting out of the seat belt and the vehicle is the first priority and a good thing. This is not true if you "are hurt pretty badly." Hasty evacuation before stabilization of injuries, especially those to the spinal column, can turn routine trauma into a much worse situation.

Other than cases where the vehicle is on fire (and those are actually rare, despite what you see on TV), an ideal progression is assessment of the patient in situ, first aid/stabilization of potential injuries, and then release from the belt, which might be best done by cutting.

If I were to be on scene, I would almost automatically apply a cervical collar,just to be safe. Then I would extricate.
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#278971 - 01/23/16 06:51 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1130
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Originally Posted By: Tom_L

A self-rescue scenario on the other hand is a different matter. You might get knocked unconscious or hurt pretty badly. People react differently to that sort of thing so it's good knowing (through training or previous experience) how you react under real stress.
This discussion so far seems to assume that getting out of the seat belt and the vehicle is the first priority and a good thing. This is not true if you "are hurt pretty badly." Hasty evacuation before stabilization of injuries, especially those to the spinal column, can turn routine trauma into a much worse situation.

If you are in a wreck in a modern car with airbags and seat belt, and you get "hurt pretty badly", it likely means the car is severely crumpled. Getting free of the seat belt may be the least of your problems to get out of the car. You had better hope that the Fire Dept rescue guys and gals are on their way with the jaws of life and other assorted heavy rescue tools!
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