A large number of vehicles veer off the road every year for various reasons and end up in a river, lake or pond. In those situations, it is imperative for occupants to get out of the vehicle immediately. Problem is, leaving the vehicle is often impossible because the power windows short out and don’t work, water pressure makes it impossible to open the doors, and occupants are unable to break the window glass—unless they have a small hammer or other similar devices in their glove box.
Submersions are among the deadliest of single-vehicle crashes but are rarely, if ever, talked about by the media or auto industry. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports an average of 384 people die in submersion type crashes each year—not including those that occur during floods. As a coastal community, Florida leads the nation in such deaths. Every year approximately 4,800 crashes in the Sunshine State end with a car in the water, causing at least 57 fatalities.
People drown in vehicle submersions because they attempt to open the doors or believe it will be easier to exit when the passenger compartment is filled with water, or wait until the vehicle hits bottom, or believe that they will be able to await rescue by relying on air pockets. Drivers and passengers will often reach for their cell phones to dial 911, wasting precious seconds to escape their vehicles while it is still floating.
Occupants have the best chance for survival by exiting out of side windows while the vehicle is still floating. Experts advise that drivers should unfasten their seat belt and any child restraints, open a side window, and immediately exit, children first. Electric glass windows will often work for a very short time after vehicle submersion; however, exiting the vehicle can be much more difficult. The Resqme tool is a window-breaker and seat-belt-cutter. In the event of an emergency and possible vehicle entrapment, the Resqme tool holds a sharp blade to cut a jammed seatbelt and a spring-loaded spike to shatter the car window. In the past, Resqme has only been available for law enforcement, but Resqme is now available to the general public, and it has received national recognition for its life-saving capabilities.
At the 2015 St. Lucie County Fair, Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd will be raffling off Resqme devices. Visit our firm’s booth in the Commercial and Community Building to learn more about Resqme and to enter for your chance to win. If you or a loved one is injured in a vehicle accident, my team and I can help you. I am a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer with over 30 years of experience in helping the injured, proudly serving the people of Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee. Call me for a free case analysis and evaluation.
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