Escape Tip

Escape Tip is an inherently obvious automotive safety idea. The purpose of the Escape Tip is to provide all occupants of a vehicle the means to break a side window glass if needed. This technique is suggested by every credible safety expert in the field when asked how to escape a sinking vehicle. The Escape Tip is a slight modification to the standard automotive seatbelt latchplate. If made available in all new cars, death by vehicle immersion and entrapment will be significantly reduced.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Ryan Zimmerman - Private First Class

Yesterday, I learned of a young man’s passing that has really given me pause. Ryan Zimmerman from Connecticut was involved in a vehicle submersion accident that took his life. While driving alone in his car, Ryan drove through a guard rail ending up in the water. When police arrived, they pulled Ryan from the vehicle that was about twelve feet below the surface. Attempts to resuscitate him failed. And thus, on Christmas Eve 2005, 18 year old Ryan Zimmerman was gone. He was pronounced dead at Stamford hospital.

If not for the rest of the story, I might have documented the details as I do and went on with my day. After all, this was Christmas and with kids of my own, I was sure to be busy. But Ryan Zimmerman’s story touched a nerve. By all accounts, he was one of the good guys. Friends and family alike are devastated by his loss. The stories I read on his accident give testimonies from old friends and new ones as well as family members. Each spoke of this amazing, friendly, dedicated and caring man that was certainly destined to make the world a better place.

Just his achievements mentioned in the news pieces are enough to convince me that we are all worse off with his loss. He was an honor student, a U.S. Marine, (one of only three in his 80 man platoon to be promoted to private first class) and he was his platoon’s leader to boot. In each case the people around him loved and respected him.

This fine young man was a credit to himself, his parents whom obviously did a superb job raising him and the United States Marine Corp for recognizing what they had in young Ryan Zimmerman. I’m humbled writing this and troubled that my efforts to bring the Escape Tip safety tool were not in time to help young Ryan. Tomorrow is another day. I will begin my efforts anew with my resolve hardened. Thank you Private First Class Ryan Zimmerman. Although I never met you, I know I’ll never forget you. As for today, I’m off to hug my kids, my wife, and my friends and to remind them that I love them. I owe it to Ryan’s mother Shawn Zimmerman.

United States Marine Corps, (last visited March 5, 2007).
Stamford, Connecticut, (last visited March 5, 2007).

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About Me

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Vehicle submersion accidents kill people nearly every day. I'm on a quest to make automobiles just a little safer. For the last decade, NHTSA (National Highway Traffic safety Administration) has been keeping extensive records as to the causes and outcomes of traffic accidents on this nation's roads. In that time, an average of 300 people have drowned each year trapped in their vehicles underwater. My friends and I want to change that by giving people a fighting chance to survive. I hope that you'll read more here and at the website