Confident travelers understand the value of this equation:
Preparedness = peace of mind.
Whenever you head out—short trip, long haul, everything in between—it is a wonderful, wonderful feeling to know you are equipped to handle unexpected events.
Here is how you accomplish that:
The checklist below outlines five items savvy drivers carry:
Five more items worth considering: Hazard warnings (reflective triangles or LED flare substitutes); tow strap, first-aid kit; raingear; cold-weather clothing (or a space blanket).
Everyone can agree that the first three items on this checklist are must-carry items in an emergency-ready vehicle. What about the seat belt cutter and window breaker?
The latter two are specialty items that will seem exceptionally special if you face circumstances where they are needed. Such situations would include rollover crashes, multivehicle pileups, and accidents where vehicles drive over or down embankments.
In all these events, vehicle electrical systems are vulnerable to short-circuiting, and mechanical operations—doors, windows, seat belts—may be disrupted and become nonfunctional.
A 10-year study (1991-2000) by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that roughly 25 to 30 percent of traffic fatalities each year during the study (Table 3) involved vehicle rollovers.
Rollovers and multivehicle crashes tend to do more body damage than other types of wrecks, and with sometimes a surviving driver and passenger have to struggle with an inoperable door, windows or passenger restraints.
The NHTSA reported that in 2018 seat belt use among all vehicle occupants stood at 89.6 percent, which is good news—and a reminder to safety-focused drivers that, however rare the possibility seems, the occasion sometimes arises when a seat belt cutter can be a vital tool to have available.
Water submersions are less common incidents, yet they are still a threat due to increasingly extreme weather patterns that can result in heavy precipitation, causing catastrophic flooding. Flash flooding is the No. 1 natural disaster in the United States, and during this decade all 50 states have reported a flash flood event.
One auto safety expert estimates between 1,200 and 1,500 vehicles each year wind up submerged. The five states most vulnerable to vehicles winding up underwater: Florida, California, Texas, Louisiana and North Carolina.
In a frightening and confusing situation such as vehicle submersion, fast access to a window breaker can be a lifesaving resource. Flash floods account for the highest number of weather-related deaths in the United States, with more than 200 fatalities per year.
Fully prepared drivers will anticipate all possible threats to their well-being and the safety of their passengers, and they make the extra effort to be equipped to handle any possible road hazard.
To optimize efficiency, it’s possible to combine three of the top five safety items in a single tool. INGEAR’s autoXscape is an innovative car escape tool integrates a seat belt cutter and two window breakers into the handle of its triple-mode flashlight (with a high-performance output of 135 lumens on the high setting).
The tail cap of the autoXscape features an external, blunt-force window punch that can take out a passenger window with one swing. Remove the tail cap and you’ll spot an additional window punch and a no-nonsense seat belt cutter—constructed with super-strong, high-carbon steel—ready for action.
It is a high-quality, three-way car emergency tool that comes with a quick-access holder (with industrial adhesive) that you can mount anywhere inside your cabin to keep it within easy reach.
Perhaps the biggest attraction of the autoXscape is that it serves as an outstanding stand-alone flashlight, which every vehicle needs. Then, if a situation requires resourceful action, it can swiftly transform itself a lifesaving car emergency tool. That’s the kind of equipment well-prepared travelers, people who cherish their peace of mind, want in their vehicles at all times.