• Dec 10, 2012
We imagine things get hectic pretty quickly if you happen to take a deep plunge while still in your car. As the water rushes in, things like patience and good sense can rush out, so doing something as reflexive and simple as getting out of your seatbelt can waste time you don't really have. If you're worried about ending up underwater in your car, then you'll want to check out the Escape Belt from Dutch company Fijen.

The round black plastic tube affixed to the seat belt clasp above is the Escape Belt mechanism. It contains a cartridge with a salt pill; when enough water fills the car to dissolve the salt pill – more than a spilled beverage, mind you – a curved metal clip flips out of the top of the unit and depresses the button, unhooking the seatbelt. Voila, freedom.

We're not sure who is really the ideal demographic for this, but if you're interested, it's 29.95 euros ($39 US) and you can watch it at work in the video below. And if your ejection needs are even more intense, Fijen will be happy to sell you an Escape Hammer.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      Peter_G
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is one of those things that is "Better to have and not need". If its a salt pill though, I wonder what the shelf-life is? I would think if the container is open to be dissolved by water, then it is also exposed to humidity and wouldn't that dissolve it after enough cycles?
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is marketed to the paranoid, but it's actually simple and cheap enough to not be intrusive. Not a bad invention.
        domingorobusto
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        I agree, I'm usually against things like this, but it seems pretty effective and simple, light, and cheap enough to be useful. I won't be buying one, but this is one I can support with very few qualms.
        The Other Bob
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        I was thinking the same thing. But there, are a lot of paranoid people. I used to sell cars. There were many people who did not want power windows just in case they drove into a lake and they shorted out.
      Motorolabizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seatbelts are off cool, damn now I can't open the door or break the glass lol
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Motorolabizz
        [blocked]
      Doug Utz
      • 2 Years Ago
      There could have been no "Drowning Mona" with a device like this.
      yesiam2000
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nowadays almost every car has power locks, windows, power everything. And when the engine fails due to flooding and you have no way to open windows to escape, the "escape hammer" while bust out the window for you. The seatbelt hard lock mechanism works by positioning, and if you roll around, are upside down, etc, you may not be able to get it to unhook. Scary, especially underwater. I think auto makers can design some extra safety features to help out trapped drivers. They solved the "being locked inside the trunk" problem with a cheap glow in the dark plastic handle you pull to let the trunk pop open, so why can't they re-design these other things? p.s. as far as the "little black boxes" recocrders they want to put in all cars "for our own good" is nothing more than a tool for insurance companies to use when they deny paying up because you went 1 mile over the speed limit when you got in an accident. Go one step further and now you have a GPS in the box too so Big Brother can watch you and know every single place you went.
      Scotty
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seeing how fast it releases the seatbelt upon contact with water. Wouldn't it be disastrous when someone lost control of a car holding water bottle and impact is imminent? Water could spill out getting in touch with the seatbelt socket thus releasing the seatbelt; and you wouldn't have safety features that's suppose to protect you from the immediate crash.
      miketim1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Really good idea... should become a standard in cars soon.
        graphikzking
        • 2 Years Ago
        @miketim1
        Maybe we should put parachutes on cars for when they go over cliffs or off bridges. When it detects zero gravity for more than like 1.5 seconds.. it automatically deploys? Now we can land safely on the water/ground AND get out of our seatbelt without having to click the release button. TOO MUCH SAFETY = MUCH MORE WEIGHT. We made the bumpers higher so that we don't hurt pedestrians? Really? Whenever a 3500+ lb car hits a person it's going to hurt and cause damage.
        Gubbins
        • 2 Years Ago
        @miketim1
        Good idea...maybe. For an O.E. mfr to adopt this the testing needed would be huge, not to mention the approval from the boffins in product legal.
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      Or you could, you know, not live where it floods very often.
      ROLO
      • 2 Years Ago
      It would have been smart 50 years ago when seat belts would seize due to too many metal parts. And ABLE people couldn't get them off even when pressing them after driving off an old bridge on there way to see Andy down at the courthouse. Some randoms A: Im squeezing some Gatorade G Series in my mouth, I miss my mouth "escapes" the belt. I'm hit in the face with the belt clip and i drive into a wall. B: Crash I'm off the road and into the river so my belt keeps "escaping" but there is a waterfall coming up and I seriously don't want to "escape" until i am over that waterfall. And to make matters worse I'm on the dayum cellphone. I have to hold it with ONE hand and keep "re-clipping" my safety-belt with the other, which means i have to put down my shaver and close the vanity mirror because i have no more hands left to do it with.
      Jesus!
      • 2 Years Ago
      This would be great for us here in the plains. I live in Houston and some parts of town flood with a sprinkle. I cannot tell you how many times people lose their lives in floods here because they drive into water when they say not to. It is sad but this could be some hope for someone who panics. This would be a great standard safety feature.
        IVAN
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jesus!
        How about those fools just not driving around the signs saying "High Water"... This would save all those lives, and cost nothing ! Stupid is as stupid does. I have seen people do the same thing where I live, and it is pathetic when the rescue personal have to come to their aid. Common sense (not enough to go around it seems) goes a long way.
      Carbon Fibre
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ok stuff, but we should really be standardizing the auto-braking system like MB employs for the general idiot drive public, If they certainly can;t drive, what do I expect them to intelligently release seat belt while holding breath?
        domingorobusto
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Carbon Fibre
        No. No no no. Those auto-braking systems are the worst things ever invented. They are constantly intervening when they don't need to. I hate them with every fiber of my being and wish they had never been invented. And it's just another driving aid that will make people worse drivers as they crutch onto this new technology. It will make everything WORSE as the sheeple pay even LESS attention to their driving, relying on the crutch to save them. We need less crutches and more technology that actually makes people wake up and DRIVE FOR THEMSELVES.
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      What could possibly go wrong? (Dialing the attorney)
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