Friday, February 17, 2017

I'm Trapped in my Burning Car and I Can't Get Out. Help!

The situation of the title is exactly what happened after some type of electronic failure in a woman's vehicle caused it to catch fire.  However, the worse consequence of the failure was everything in the car shut down and she could not even operate the doors to exit.

That was a peach of a time for a cop to show up and he is now regarded by the woman as her guardian angel.  (CNN:  'Guardian angel' rescues woman trapped in a burning car)

You're trapped with no one around to help.

Then it gets worse: Smoke from the engine turns to flames.

That's the situation Navy veteran Kim Novak of Spokane, Washington, found herself in last month.

"The car just went black," Novak said. "The radio shut off, all the lights went off. The motor stopped. I mean just black."


Hat tip to the cop for getting this woman to safety but I want to know just why the hell there was no mechanical override on those doors in anticipation of this type of malfunction.  The article did not reveal the type of vehicle except to say it wasn't particularly old nor was it poorly-maintained.

When the door to the car won't open, you only have two options after that.  One is to roll down the window and if that fails then break it.  Ms Novak could not do either so the Rockhouse sees one giant size design problem in this vehicle.

The next question after what kind of vehicle was Ms Novak driving goes to how pervasive is the problem of being trapped in a car if its internal systems should shut down.  A problem in addition to electric windows failing to work is that cars usually automatically lock the doors once the car starts moving.  Given a complete system failure, it's not surprising that neither the electric windows nor the electric door locks will operate.  Without some mechanical override or a cop with a billy club to break you out, you're going to burn.

Croaking in that way is like being in a bad horror movie in the part with, oh gee, I sure hope she can get the door open before the monster gets her.

In this case, with some major help, she did.

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