How one tool can save a life in a car accident

Being overturned in a car after an accident is not something anyone should experience like this scene in Arcata in the middle of a hailstorm.
If they didn’t have a simple tool like a window breaker – things would have been much different.

We bought a window breaker for about $4, and that $4 can make all the difference.

“This one you press it against the glass and when you push real hard, a little piece comes out and breaks the window. There’s also a part that comes off here and cuts a seatbelt,” Arcata Fire District Public Information Officer Alyssa Alvarez said.

The seatbelt cutter comes in handy when stuck, allowing the driver to escape and use the window breaker.

It can also make it easier for rescue crews before they arrive on the scene. Driving in Humboldt can be tough with the ever-changing weather.

“We have a lot of car accidents in this county. We actually have a lot of car accidents between McKinleyville and Arcata. If this accident happened and that person did not have one of these, the outcome could have been very different and not good,” Alvarez said.

And while this car was not completely submerged in water, it’s a tool that could help prevent death in that situation.

“You want to have it somewhere easily accessible either on your person or on your keys, somewhere where you can grab it and immediately get yourself out of that situation. Think about yourself being underwater. How long can you hold your breath? And how long can you hold your breath when you’re panicking?” Alvarez said. “You want to think about where’s the fastest, easiest place you can access something like this, cut your seatbelt off, and get out of that car as soon as possible.”

But what if you don’t have the window breaker to get out of the vehicle?

“If you don’t have one of these, you can kick out a car window. If you have the ability to kick our a car window, you can do that. Or one person suggested if you take your head rest off, you can use the peg end of the headrest,” Alvarez said.

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