November 26, 2010

496 words 3 mins read

MythBusters says “Buy a damn window breaker”

Last night after the Thanksgiving festivities, I sat down to watch some MythBusters. The episode was titled “Inverted Underwater Car”, which turned out to be a revisit of the “Underwater Car” episode from a few years back. MythBusters is always entertaining (doubly so when anything gets blown up. See also: every other episode) and tends to be fairly educational as well. Normally this education is more “fun facts” rather than useful in real life, but this week was different.

In the previous episode of “Underwater Car”, they dumped a car in the water and had

Adam escape. It seemed fairly simply because it was a controlled “dump” and done into a pool. In this week’s episode, they ramped it up. They took a car with Adam inside, pulled it up to speed, dumped it into a small lake… and let it sink upside down. The windshield broke a bit, it sank in a funny direction, flipped twice and the water was nearly impossible to see through (due to standard lake crud). End result? Adam “died” (read: He had to use his emergency air supply).

Now Adam is, what I would call, an expert at the subject of escaping car in water… after all he’s done it a bunch of times now. He also did this under semi-controlled circumstances with an emergency diver in the back seat. It was during the day and he knew it was coming. Even with this fairly “easy” setup, he couldn’t get out in time, without using the emergency air. Imagine trying the same thing except hitting the water at 60 mph, at night, in the rain… and you can see how you probably wouldn’t be nearly as calm as Adam. His suggestion after it was all over? Buy a commercial window breaker.

I thought about this for a few minutes and realized something. MythBusters is actually providing very real, very useful, very smart advice. This isn’t the typical information where you say “Huh, I never knew that” and move along. This is the information that you can use in real life…. so why not do so? A window breaker is a whopping $15 on Amazon and could very well save my life. I’m no expert in escaping sinking cars, so I went ahead and purchased 2 (one for myself, and one for Mother). In my quick search I found out that they also offer window breakers in pink, 6 packs (if you’ve got A LOT of people/cars you care about) and even key-chain versions.

Not saying that you have to, but if you’ve got a car… find a spare $15 and buy a window breaker. What’s the worst that could happen? You’re out $15 you were going to frivolously spend on Starbucks and never have to use the tool. Or… you could be driving along and one day end up in the water… with this $15 tool saving your life. Listen to the experts (Adam Savage… not me) — buy one.