We’ve all seen those scenarios where the actor of a movie is under water in a drowning car and has to escape quickly or die. But have you ever pictured or thought about what to do if you find yourself in that situation? These kinds of accidents are a lot more common than you think, and often, staying calm and knowing what to do is what you need to escape. So here are some very important steps that could be the difference between life and death if you ever find yourself in that scenario.
Panicking in this situation actually makes things worse. A clear mind helps best, so the first thing to do is calm yourself down. If you hyperventilate, you won’t be able to hold your breath, and losing your calm will waste time when every single second counts. Just focus your energy on what needs to be done to get out instead.
Most cars will stay afloat for about 30 to 120 seconds before they sink. This is the best time to get out, and like we said earlier, staying calm will help you utilize this time better. You’ll need to act quickly and strategically too.
Most times, people are told to wait for the pressure to equalize so they can open the car door under water. Unfortunately, the pressure in a car does not equalize until it is completely submerged in water. It will then be up to how long you can hold your breath while staying calm and trying to open the door. We don’t advise that you test it.
The door is an option when trying to escape from a sinking car, but your best chance is the car window. So if the waterline hasn’t reached the window yet, try to wind it down and escape. Windows don’t usually short circuit if the car is in water. What stops them from rolling down is the water pressure.
When the waterline is above the window, you’re going to have to break it. Doing this under water is hard, so it’s always best to have a tool that can help break the window with you always and to know where it is. Most of these devices also come with a cutting tool which is great if your seat belt gets stuck and won’t unbuckle.
If the waterline has not gotten past the window, you can escape and swim to safety. Where the waterline has gotten past the window, be aware that water will come rushing in as soon as you break it. This is fine, you’ll still be able to swim out despite this. Hold on to the steering wheel to keep yourself centered as that happens, then push off the car and swim away. If you don’t know which way is up, just look around for the bubbles and see which way they’re going and follow.
This Multifunctional Vehicle Emergency Escape Hammer will help if you find yourself in the scenario mentioned above. It comes with a flashlight which will help you see better under water, a window hammer to help you break the glass and a cutter. If possible, you should have more than one of these in multiple places in your car.