It promises to give you the power to escape after an accident. Makers of the Life Hammer claims it can cut through seat belts and break car windows, helping save lives. But is the Life Hammer really a life saver?
Life Hammers hang in many public transit vehicles, especially in Europe. The double tipped head is used to break windows, and the hidden razor helps cut seat belts. Johannes Auto in Jackson volunteered a couple of cars for us to test.
The Life Hammer promises to put the power to save a life back within arms reach. Amy Jacquin didn't test a real accident situation, but belts herself in, and starts the timer.
She struggles at cutting the seat belt. The hardest part was getting a cut started. Once she learned how to pull one way with the razor, and the opposite direction with her free hand, keeping it tight, it starts cutting through the belt. And breaking the window takes more force than expected, but it shatters on the second try.
It took Amy almost 41 seconds to escape, giving her a fighting chance at survival. It did give me Amy a few knicks and cuts, but that's a small sacrifice in a life or death situation. It took Amy 41 seconds, but it took Scott Friedrich at Johannes Auto only 16 seconds!
But the Life Hammer isn't so convenient when it comes to installing it. The manufacturer recommends hanging it with double-sided tape or velcro, but there's not really enough flat surface to hold it stable, especially in a crash. You can screw it in, but be careful of all the electronics in newer cars. And it has to be within arm's reach of you sitting upright, in case an accident locks your seat belt up. But today's modern, curvy lines and feature-packed dashes make it hard to find a convenient spot for the life hammer. And never keep it in the glove compartment or console because they can jam after an accident.