Car escape tools: Seatbelt cutters and window breakers

For our car, we currently have an Enlan knife that has a seatbelt cutter and window breaker function.

I was thinking about purchasing a car escape tool that would work better than that knife.

This is the one I like right now:

I don't think we'll ever have to use this tool, but I would feel a little bit safer if we owned something like this.

Any thoughts on car escape tools like this?

If anyone has any recommendations, especially directly from China, I'm all ears.

I searched on AliExpress, but didn't find anything that looked that great.

I will be getting one of those per vehicle.

Yep, even if you don't get into an accident, you might come across someone that has, and you could perhaps save their life.

I have been thinking about getting something like this for a while. I can’t decide how to store it. I want it to be within reach in a worse case scenario so a lanyard hole would be nice to secure it near the driver’s seat.

You don’t have an arm rest with a storage compartment?>

We have a Toyota Corolla, and it has some small compartments that I think are just the right size for a car escape tool.

I also saw some escape tools that strap onto a car's sun visor.

Yes but I’m a worst case scenario type of guy. I can imagine a rollover where I’m trapped and the tool is not where it should be. Maybe just out of reach, and the smell of gasoline.

I have a Resqme tool clipped to the sun visor of my car. The window breaker is spring loaded so it’s much smaller and lighter than the hammer style tools.

I’ve never needed to use the tool or had an opportunity to test it, but my brother has tested it and said it worked well. He’s a firefighter and has also had a fair bit of rural road rescue experience so I trust his opinion on seatbelt cutters and glass breakers.

It’s better to have something that might be out of reach in some situations than to not have anything at all.

I think the Resqme tool is small, light, and inexpensive enough to have a couple in different locations if you’re really concerned about being able to reach it.

I was seriously considering the Resqme escape tool, but there are way too many horror stories on Amazon about them.

Apparently, they're not made that well, even though they're made in the U.S.

If you get one that's not defective, you have an excellent tool, but too many are defective for my taste.

we use a spring-loaded center punch for windshields.
here is an example :

of course, some sort of knife is always “on” us….in a pocket, on a lanyard, etc.

here is a long story about a vehicle escape:

late at night, our dentist was driving back from a conference, came around a curve, and drove into a flooded part of the road.
he was in his Mercedes and it began to float, then started sinking. all electronics quit (shorted out?). his automatic seatbelt
would not retract. he happened to have dental tools with him which cut the belt. the doors would not unlock. the windows
would not roll down. he ended up kicking out the back windshield. it never broke or shattered. it popped out complete.
he got out ok, and his car only sank up to the door handles. now his escape tool is taped (not clipped) to his seatbelt.

According to this article and interesting video, side windows on many newer cars are constructed of laminated glass (like the windshield is) instead of tempered glass (like the side windows used to be) and ordinary impact escape tools are not effective on laminated glass:

The only person I ever knew that had to escape after a rollover crash (which did not break any windows but the doors and windows would not open), said the way they broke out was by bracing their back against the front seat and using both feet to kick and push the windshield out.

I’ve got the Astrolux S43 with the point on the end in my door pocket. Of course, likely just drown as being trapped without a seat belt cutter when I break the window is problematical.

Yeah, you need a light that can double as a brick smaher and glass broker.

You can make your own “glass broker” by cracking the insulator of a sparkplug, finding a pointy chip, and using resin/epoxy/whatever to attach it to the end of, well, anything. Wooden dowel, switchless tailcap of a light, anything.

Those big doodads, you can attach anywhere with velcro or the better-stuff like what’s used to attach EZPasses and the like. I’d avoid clipping to a sun-visor unless you’re okay with hitting a bump in the road and having the visor drop down in front of your face.

Are you implying that the porcelain will break the auto glass?

gave all of my kids (all over forty) one for their cars plus a couple for my own vehicles.

Strange, but true. There are many YouTube videos demonstrating that.

We bought a couple of those glass breaker and seatbelt cutters many years ago and put them in the center consoles. I don’t have one in my car, but the others do. My wife just feels safer with one in her car.

I've gone back and forth on this kind of stuff. I was in a horrific car wreck that totaled the vehicle. The door couldn't be opened and I had to escape through a window. It was the middle of nowhere too, so no immediate rescue. My memory of that event is a blur but I'm pretty sure the seat belt release worked just fine.

One thing to consider is that I use a seat belt extension. It is basically just another female-side attachment with release button that plugs into the existing one. The point is that it brings the connection up a few inches so I'm not having to reach around my own body and dig down to release it. (I got turned on to this years ago when I was recovering from a back injury and my wife was pregnant. It was a godsend for both of us.) It makes life easier in general and may be helpful in this kind of situation.

In theory, I could probably just use a regular knife to cut an exposed off-body piece of strap. Thinking about all the possible scenarios, I just don't know how often it matters from a self-help perspective. I totally get the idea of a safety cutter for rescue workers who are reaching into a wreck and might have limited access to trapped persons. I suppose it's possible that one of us could come across a situation like that, be the only person available, and not be able to use our regular EDC blades.

As far as glass breakers, I've kicked out car windows. I've smashed them with other objects. The "glass breaker" is usually just a hard point for concentrating impact. That could certainly make the job easier. Where I question it is that I usually see them on small EDC objects that require you to have your hand very close to the point of breakage. Does anyone here have a lot of experience using that kind of tool to break glass?

Easily. And quietly.

Goggle “ninja rocks”…

Ah, here we go. Wanna bust up Hitler’s car?