Auto accidents are an unfortunate part of life. Even though traveling by car is becoming safer and safer, the reality is that you or someone you love will likely be involved in a car accident at some point in time.
Half of the battle of surviving a car accident is the safety precautions resident in the car itself. Things like seat belts, airbags, and crash zones can directly improve your chances of surviving a car accident during the event itself, but what happens after the wreck? When emergency personnel arrive on the scene, what can they do to extract you from the totaled vehicle?
Perhaps one of the most common, but widely misunderstood auto accident survival devices are hydraulic rescue tools, frequently referred to by their trademarked name “Jaws of Life.” This innovative set of tools has a number of unique advantages over older, less effective and even dangerous tools like saws, axes and crowbars.
Saws are useful in some applications, but can cause sparks when cutting through metal, which can be dangerous at car accident scenes due to the presence of flammable liquids and vapors. They also tend to be rather loud, which can further antagonize a victim that has already been traumatized by a car accident, and not every saw can cut through the strong materials used by auto manufacturers in most modern cars.
Axes and crowbars are also moderately effective, due to the fact they are limited by the strength of the user and the structural integrity of the car. In some cases of severe car accidents the motion of an axe or crowbar used to pry open a stuck door or collapsed roof can actually cause the bulk of the car to shift, endangering victim and rescuers alike.
Hydraulic rescue tools circumvent those dangers and provide a number of other important safety features. Their strong jaws can cut through most materials without causing sparks, and as the jaws clap shut they can hold the cut material together, unlike a saw which merely separates the two pieces.
Furthermore, the same action that cuts a piece of metal can also be used to separate crushed materials. The hydraulic jaws simply act in reverse and spread apart, and this action can be strong enough to lift a damaged car off the ground and delicate enough not to disturb and risk further injury to a person that has suffered a spinal injury or traumatic head wound.
The “Jaws of Life” were so named because of a number of reasons. One of the inventors was named Jack Allen Watson, and he signed his initials onto design documents, which gave the device its first name. The device often also has two toothed mandibles that in fact strongly resemble a set of jaws from some monstrous animal.
Perhaps the best, and most lasting reason the Jaws of Life got their name is due to their basic function. Car accidents often involve situations where the right tool for the right job could mean the difference between life and death. Hydraulic rescue tools like the Jaws of Live could very well snatch people back from the jaws of death, and that notion helped cement this important tool with an iconic and brand trademarked name that thousands of people depend on each year.
There is no doubt that if you are involved in a car accident, you have a number of things on your mind. Should this traumatic situation happen to you, keep in mind that help is on the way, and that there will be Jaws of Life to help save yours.