December 13, 2004 In a world where technology is racing forward, a basic engineering fix is improving seatbelt design and saving lives into the bargain. The Escape Tip Vehicle Safety System is a system of safety devices integrated on to the male ends of seatbelt buckles which allows people who are trapped in vehicles to facilitate their own escape by breaking a side window and exiting through the opening, when, and only when, they are ready.
Tens of thousands of lives have been lost globally in the last few decades due to car entrapment deaths. In the U.S. in 2003, 338 people drowned, trapped in their cars because they could not get out, and over 100 people have been killed in Australia in similar conditions. Twelve percent of drownings in New Zealand were also attributed to vehicular entrapment.
"Fire Fighters realise that in any life or death situation a person's chance for survival is greatest if they are able to successfully conduct a self-rescue. This also goes a long way in keeping professional rescuers and even well-intentioned bystanders from placing their lives in great danger attempting to rescue these people," says Brian V Moore of the Phoenix, Arizona Fire-Fighters Association.
"This device could make a huge difference in a person's chance for survival in the event that they become trapped in a submerged vehicle or one that is rapidly submerging. It maximises the efficacy of the current preferred escape methodology nicknamed POGO for Pop the belt; Open the window and Get Out," Moore added.
Egression Technologies, the maker of the Escape Tip Vehicle Safety System, also has patents pending on retrofit devices, which will afford the same level of protection in the millions of vehicles already travelling the roadways. Benefits · Providing the necessary tools at all exterior seating positions.
· Providing positive identification on all seatbelts equipped with the tool, through the use of "Escape Tip Equipped" labels.
· Providing the tools in known and consistent locations within all Escape Tip Equipped vehicles.
· Passengers are not dependant upon access to the glove box, or other driver oriented locations, where an automotive hammer or other tool might be stored.
· The Tools can not become lost or misplaced in vehicle roll-over accidents.
· Occupants' seatbelts must be removed before the Tools can be used.
· The Tools are already in the hands of trapped occupants and ready for use after simply taking off their seatbelts.
· Providing a means of exit from a submerged vehicle.
· Providing a means of exit when a vehicle's doors are jammed, due to an accident or other incident.
· Providing a means of exit when a vehicle's rear doors are locked via the child safety locks, which are currently mandated in all new passenger vehicles.
· Using the product is simple and near fail safe.
· The Tools can't "go off" accidentally or prematurely.
· The Tools do not interfere with normal operation of the seatbelts.
· The Tools are simple to manufacture with no moving parts.
· The Tools have very nominal manufacturing costs.
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