How to Escape From a Sinking Car
Ten percent of deaths by drowning in Canada can be linked directly to those trapped in a submerged vehicle. Most of these deaths are a result of panic and not having a plan when the car is underwater. Taking a brace position upon impact with the water, keeping calm when the car starts to sink, and exiting your vehicle quickly can ensure a survivable outcome of a submerging automobile. Read on for detailed steps.
Prepare for Impact
By placing your hands at the “ten and two” positions on your steering wheel, you will be readying yourself for the eventual airbag deployment while also keeping your hands at an ideal brace position. This will minimize potential impact injury while maintaining a safe distance from the airbag.
Unbuckle Your Seatbelt and Open Your Window
Movement in your sinking vehicle is very important, and having your seatbelt undone will give you just that. Make sure to help undo the seatbelts of any children or passengers in the car if you are the first one out of yours. Open or break your window as soon as your vehicle makes impact with the water. Most people don’t think of using the window as a means of escape, but it is actually physically impossible to open a submerged car door until the vehicle interior is completely filled with water. While you might be able to then open your door at that point, it is not an ideal situation to be in.
Exit your Car Through the Broken or Open Window
Swim out and away from the open or broken window as soon as you possibly can. It is entirely possible to get out through a torrent of water as it rushes in to the car, and it is better to get out as soon as you can rather than to wait for the car to equalize when it is completely underwater.
If the car does end up submerged while you’re still inside, wait for the interior to fill with water. Take slow, deep breaths until the water is at chest level. At that point, take a deep breath and hold it. Now, swim for the surface through the broken window or open door (which you should be able to open now) by kicking off from the car. Seek medical attention as soon as you hit dry land by waving down passing motorists to utilize potential cell phones or to get a ride to the nearest hospital.
With a rainy spring fast approaching, flooded rivers and streams are a very real danger, and here at Crestview Chrysler we want our drivers to stay safe and be aware of what to do in the event of escaping a sinking automobile—but it would be way better if you just avoided driving into water in the first place!