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  • FIRST POST
    • skull
    • By skull 5th Jul 17, 4:01 PM
    • 34Posts
    • 27Thanks
    skull
    Emergency Exit ?
    • #1
    • 5th Jul 17, 4:01 PM
    Emergency Exit ? 5th Jul 17 at 4:01 PM
    Something happened to a neighbour which gave me pause for thought.

    He has a van for his business and is often washing and cleaning it inside and out. In the recent very hot weather he was inside vacuuming it. He didn't have his keys with him, they were inside his house. There was no-one else home.

    My husband was leaving our house for work and if he didn't have to do a 3 point turn he would not have seen this neighbour in his vehicle on his driveway, frantically waving him to come towards him.

    He did so and got out when the neighbour beckoned.The neighbour then mimed for my husband to go into his house and fetch his car keys. Going in and finding several sets of keys my husband returned to the van with them, the correct ones were identified and the neighbour was able to get out of the van. He had had a real scare as he was extremely hot and near the point of collapse. It could have been so much worse. People and pets have died in hot cars.


    I understand that car designers have to pare to the bone many optional extras to keep prices down, however, a manual escape route is an essential, can you imagine a plane or bus without an emergency exit? Can anyone such as car designers or automotive engineers, who possibly may be reading this, do something about this situation? It isn't a problem until it happens to you.

    Some years ago my car skidded on black ice and turned on its side before hitting a bank. I was unhurt, (thank you seat belt) but was unable to lift the passenger car door open, (the drivers side door was pinned to the tarmac).

    Luckily this was an older car which had a wind back sunroof which gave me just enough space to climb out. This was just in time as despite being on a quiet country road, I was on a corner and I knew that the school bus was due any minute. Being able to get out and to flag down the bus and other traffic before it too hit the black ice probably prevented a pile up.

    My point being that anyone can get trapped in a vehicle.

    Electric windows or key enabled unlocking of a vehicle from the inside is not always the answer. Some kind of manual emergency exit, allowing a person to climb out in case of being locked in, whether caught in a flood, or in a crashed car would seem to me to be necessary.

    I don't have the power to make the powerful automotive industry make a change, but perhaps I can make people aware of the problem through this website, and maybe someone who can do something will read this - I can hope. Thanks for reading this far.

    regards ~ skull

    .
Page 2
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 5th Jul 17, 6:54 PM
    • 1,396 Posts
    • 1,209 Thanks
    parking_question_chap
    Im baffled as to why there was a problem.

    I have often unlocked my vehicle with the fob, gone inside and shut door, then opened door again without needing key or fob.

    And as an aside, why didnt he honk the horn for attention rather than wave?
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 5th Jul 17, 7:14 PM
    • 731 Posts
    • 558 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    So what exactly would be an emergency exit? An ejector seat?
    I mean, all cars have at least 2 doors, if not 4 or 5, to get out from. And that's up to 5 windows too. Many cars have sunroofs. Is that not enough openings to get out in an emergency? That's the sides and the back covered... you can't escape underneath as there's no space. Do you suggest having an exit at the front of the car? Because the windscreen needs to be extremely tough so that if you crash, objects can't fly through the windscreen and kill you.


    Cars are extremely safe these days. Of course there will be awful situations from time to time where you can't get out, and we have emergency services to help. Many cars come with emergency assistance, i.e. if you crash the car will call the emergency services.


    Cars do way too much already to protect passengers, don't really need any more.
    Originally posted by kmb500
    No they don't.







    There's three for starters.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 5th Jul 17, 7:23 PM
    • 25,726 Posts
    • 10,227 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    Sounds similar to the story of the old couple in the US who sat in their car for 2 days because it autolocked as they got in.

    When someone said why didnt you pull the door handles they had no answer. They just assumed it locked them in with no way out.

    What van deadlocks without the keys and wont allow the interior handles to work?
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • eamon
    • By eamon 5th Jul 17, 7:24 PM
    • 1,552 Posts
    • 1,092 Thanks
    eamon
    Many vans are now specified with a bulkhead between the cab and rear. Theft from vans is widespread and many vans are retrofitted with better locks. I would imagine that getting locked inside your own van is a common occurance.
    • BeenThroughItAll
    • By BeenThroughItAll 5th Jul 17, 7:31 PM
    • 4,410 Posts
    • 3,782 Thanks
    BeenThroughItAll
    I would imagine that getting locked inside your own van is a common occurance.
    Originally posted by eamon
    For idiots, maybe.
    • z1a
    • By z1a 5th Jul 17, 7:44 PM
    • 639 Posts
    • 493 Thanks
    z1a
    Which would beg the question how the OP's husband saw him waving...
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Through the back window.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 5th Jul 17, 9:24 PM
    • 15,096 Posts
    • 13,415 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Through the back window.
    Originally posted by z1a
    Vans with partitions would very rarely have rear door windows.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 5th Jul 17, 11:04 PM
    • 11,290 Posts
    • 8,504 Thanks
    unholyangel
    Car windows can shatter easily, but not if you're trying to bash it in since theyre designed to withstand thing hitting them. You can use a screwdriver, insert it in the edge between the glass & the doorframe and sort of lever it so point is pressing into the glass with you pulling back on it, which will cause the glass to shatter.

    Not sure if I'm explaining that clearly enough but basically you need a sharp object rather than a blunt one.

    This video give you an idea how easy it can be and imo something every car owner should know in case of emergencies (but then I also think everyone should be taught first aid):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Dv0UU66CbU
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • peter_the_piper
    • By peter_the_piper 6th Jul 17, 10:40 AM
    • 26,020 Posts
    • 32,919 Thanks
    peter_the_piper
    Many vans are now specified with a bulkhead between the cab and rear. Theft from vans is widespread and many vans are retrofitted with better locks. I would imagine that getting locked inside your own van is a common occurance.
    Originally posted by eamon
    Granted it would stop getting in from outside but do these locks really stop you opening from inside? I can't imagine they would pass any health and safety test.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 6th Jul 17, 1:13 PM
    • 25,726 Posts
    • 10,227 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    You need to the keys to activate the deadlocks. They probably didn't think to pull the handles.

    They don't fit different locks whether the vehicle is built as a van or a minibus so it should have interior handles.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 6th Jul 17, 11:02 PM
    • 3,586 Posts
    • 2,661 Thanks
    sheramber
    How did the van come to lock when he was in it?

    The last three cars we have had have had electronic windows and keys.

    But they all had a button on the gear console to lock or open the doors from the inside.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 6th Jul 17, 11:07 PM
    • 731 Posts
    • 558 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    How did the van come to lock when he was in it?

    The last three cars we have had have had electronic windows and keys.

    But they all had a button on the gear console to lock or open the doors from the inside.
    Originally posted by sheramber
    Yes, but could you reach that from the back of a van?
    • skull
    • By skull 7th Jul 17, 3:46 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    skull
    Thanks all for your replies.

    Have now placed screwdrivers in glove box and pocket at back of passenger seat so can be accessed by rear passenger if needed. (Decided against putting them in the door pocket in case they fall during an accident and poke someone's eye out or something). Thanks unholy angel, I might have bought hammers otherwise.

    As regards the neighbour in his van not tooting the horn, it's possible that he did, but bear in mind this occurred early afternoon and most people were at work, unless working shifts like my husband. Sadly in many residential areas people generally ignore, or tune out, tooting car alarms going off so no guarantee of anyone responding.

    I am not sure of the age of his van (he has a personal/company name number plate) but as he always keeps the van spotless it looks like new, although he has had it some years. Not sure whether he could have got out via rear doors or not and am not going to ask him. I reckon he wants to forget about it happening. Possibly he was not thinking straight due to overheating in extremely hot weather and working in van may have started to get lightheaded or something, he also often gets call-outs in night/early hours so maybe lacking sleep too. The incident was followed by my viewing a programme a few days later about driverless electric cars and I started to wonder about safety issues at that point.

    Regarding my accident on the ice the car ended up diagonally across the road on a bend that hid it from view of oncoming traffic with the nose pointing into the hedgerow bank. I used the sunroof to escape as I had tried the passenger door but being an older car the door was too heavy to push wide enough so it did not slam shut again so I could not get out that way. I knew I had to get out quickly as oncoming traffic would not see the vehicle in time to stop or avoid the long sheet of ice on the corner. I was lucky in being able to stop the bus which appeared only a few minutes later. Behind the bus was a car carrying two chaps who very kindly helped me by rocking and tipping my car back on to the tarmac and helping me push it to the side of the road. It was a write-off and I was too nervous to drive again for a while, ok now though, that incident was more than a decade ago.

    Thanks for helping, I shall be passing the screwdriver tip on to my family and friends, cheers!
    • takman
    • By takman 7th Jul 17, 9:49 AM
    • 2,628 Posts
    • 2,188 Thanks
    takman
    Thanks for helping, I shall be passing the screwdriver tip on to my family and friends, cheers!
    Originally posted by skull
    Why would you put a screwdriver in your car when you can get two specialist emergency hammers for only £6.98 from Amazon and they also include a seat belt cutter.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/454/Car-Antiskid-Seatbelt-Emergency-Breaker-Disaster-Life-Saving
    • WobblyDog
    • By WobblyDog 7th Jul 17, 12:14 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 261 Thanks
    WobblyDog
    Many vans are now specified with a bulkhead between the cab and rear. Theft from vans is widespread and many vans are retrofitted with better locks. I would imagine that getting locked inside your own van is a common occurance.
    Originally posted by eamon


    The last time I hired a van, I managed to lock myself inside, twice. There were internal door handles, but they were tricky to operate, and difficult to find in the darkness. There was a sturdy bulkhead, and the internal wood panelling obstructed access to the handles. I'm going to keep a torch on me if I ever hire a van again.
    Last edited by WobblyDog; 07-07-2017 at 12:17 PM.
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 7th Jul 17, 9:39 PM
    • 2,703 Posts
    • 1,652 Thanks
    Ectophile
    You can get a gadget called a Life Hammer for escaping from crashed cars. One end has a semi-enclosed blade for ripping through seat belts, should you find yourself upside-down and the seat belt release is jammed. The other end has a pointy metal bit for smashing car windows.

    I've got one somewhere. Probably in the back of the garage. It's not a lot of use there, I know.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • Car 54
    • By Car 54 7th Jul 17, 9:54 PM
    • 2,237 Posts
    • 1,436 Thanks
    Car 54
    You can get a gadget called a Life Hammer for escaping from crashed cars.
    Originally posted by Ectophile
    Indeed you can. As pointed out 12 hours ago by Takman in post #34.
    • Geoff1963
    • By Geoff1963 7th Jul 17, 10:24 PM
    • 1,058 Posts
    • 668 Thanks
    Geoff1963
    Not sure whether he could have got out via rear doors or not and am not going to ask him.
    If the van had internal door handles that he didn't know were there / couldn't find, they are the emergency exit feature that he needed. Sounds like unfamiliarity.
    A van might have windows which are too small to climb out of.

    How about a £10 phone, switched off, that you use every few months to make sure it's still connected ? That will also have torch, to find any handles.
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