Getting into an accident can be a terrifying event. And in the case of a bad accident, every second counts when it comes to saving a life. The idea that your car itself can become a threat to your life is a frightening one, so if it happens, you need to know what to do and equipped to handle the situation immediately.
Due to the unexpected nature of car accidents, your car can put you in a situation where there is an immediate danger of fire/explosion, entrapment, or even submergence, so you need to be fully prepared for any emergency. It’s imperative that you have the right tools to carry in your car and know how to properly use them.
Determine Your Risk
It’s a good idea to take a close look at a topographical map of the area you drive on a regular basis. Consider what dangers you might encounter in the event of an accident such as flooding, steep cliffs, bridges, runaway truck zones, falling rock zones, waterways or stretches of desolation.
Water can be a major threat because the areas may become flooded during or following intense rainfall. Mountainous regions present their own set of threats with steep inclines that tend to have winding roads with limited visibility. And if your car is no longer operational, you may have to travel a significant distance on foot to reach civilization.
There are a number of car escape tools on the market and having the right tools on hand is a preparedness measure most people need to take. They include hammers, blades, flashlights, sirens and USB power for your phone.
Remember to store them in a latched center console or somewhere else that can easily be reached no matter what position the car is in after a crash.
1. Seatbelt Cutters
In a crash, seatbelts can become an obstacle to your safety should you need to evacuate your vehicle quickly. In the case of an overturned or otherwise disabled vehicle, you may only have seconds to get out. This is particularly true if fire and water pose an added threat. Seatbelt cutters work best when the seatbelt is very taut for a clean, quick cut.
If a car is submerged, the pressure inside a car is too strong to open any of the doors until the vehicle is completely filled with water, which equalizes the pressure on the inside and outside. Glassbreakers get you out of the car before your vehicle fills with water.
- Manual: May come as an added feature on pocket knives or tactical pens, requiring brute force to break the glass.
- Spring-assisted: This type is activated when pressed up against the glass. When time is of the essence, this type is especially valuable to get you out of the car fast.
3. Keychain Tool
A keychain tool works effectively and you can have it with you at all times. They are small, lightweight and easy to use with a spring assisted window breaker for tight spaces and seatbelt cutter that cuts through with one motion.
4. Emergency Flashlight
When there is an accident and there is no power for light or your phone, you can use a versatile emergency handheld flashlight. It comes with a rechargeable hand cranking flashlight, cellphone USB charger, window breaker and red signal light.
5. First-Aid Kit
Every motorist should have a well-equipped first-aid kit in their vehicle to take care of minor cuts and scrapes and additional items for treating more seriously injured people until they can get expert medical assistance. Medical kits, like those approved by the Canadian Red Cross, are well stocked with numerous items that could save your life and those of others.
Unfortunately, anything can happen at any time that could result in a car accident, but by being proactive and prepared, you have a better chance of surviving as well as ready to assist others.
Check out some of our other driving safety tips.