Worst Case Scenario
We will admit, this post is not for people who are claustrophobic or scared of elevators. But believe us, in case you get into one, there are fears about what would happen if the elevator cables snap? Even for the ones who use elevators regularly, here are few ways that can help you to survive an elevator fall.
If there is a will, then there is a way. This works even when you are inside a falling elevator. To be honest, we are not talking about falling elevators from the 10th or 20th floor, as that will undoubtedly be fatal. Though, there are certain strategies one can use in case we are stuck in that situation.
The Good News
Although there are risks on elevators, the good news is, there are plenty of safety features in high rise building elevators. The common is the traction elevator. They are pulled with the help of steel cables, pulleys and counterweights. In case the elevator is moving down too quickly, the sensors will activate the brakes that will slow down the impact.
What’s The Difference?
There are usually two types of elevators- Hydraulic elevators and Traction elevators. Hydraulic elevators use a piston jack to move it up and down. It even lacks a sensor or governor which is found in a traction elevator. The good thing is, hydraulic elevators are not used in buildings more than six storeys tall.
You must have heard of the survival technique that when you jump in the elevator just before the fall on the ground, it lessens down the impact on your body. Unfortunately, that is not entirely true. This method might reduce the impact speed of our body by 3mph or 4mph, but it is not practical. The reason is, there is no way we can know when the elevator is about to hit the ground.
There are particular ways one can still save themselves in a falling elevator. One way is the spread eagle. When the elevator is falling, stand with your knees bent forward. This posture absorbs the shock the body might have to face when the elevator hit the ground.
Sticks And Stones Will Break My Bones
Though the spread eagle technique is a way to save oneself, it is also not a technique by which one can protect themselves completely. The impact would be directly on the knees, and there are chances of a person breaking their legs or some bone. Moreover, standing parallel to the line of impact also gives more pressure on a body.
The Best Of The Worst
According to experts, the best way one can save themselves in a falling elevator is to lay themselves in the centre of the car. In this posture, the impact pressure will spread all over the body, thus, avoiding a broken knee. Moreover, it is also impossible to stay standing on a falling elevator, so the best way to lay flat.
However, even when a person lays flat on the elevator, there are chances of damage to their body. It depends on the height they are falling from. If the elevator falls from a height of 5th or 6th floors, the impact on our body will be less. But if the fall is from a height more than 10th floor, then it can injure our spine too.
According to Dr Eliot Frank, “The impact of the elevator at the bottom of the shaft would subject you to extreme gravitational acceleration, or G-forces. The number of G’s you experience multiplies your normal weight, so if you experience 10 G’s, you will experience ten times the weight of your body. You might think that bracing yourself or bending your legs would help, but at high G-forces, your legs would simply not be able to support the weight of your body. Even the weight of your own head would be too much for your neck to support.”
The Devil Is In The Details
One important thing to remember in that particular time of crisis is to cover up your face and head. It saves one from the falling debris or any sudden impact from the ground. Might sound scary, but there’s no other choice.
Survival Of The Fittest
God forbid, if someone is in this situation, we hope that they stay safe.