How to Escape a Car in an Emergency It’s a situation that can send even the most cool-headed drivers into a state of panic: you’re in an accident, and you can’t escape from your car. Fortunately, you and your passengers have a good chance of escaping from a sinking car if you stay calm and act quickly. Is that true? ", Someday, somewhere, this is good to save somebody's life. And the 22-year-old student managed a feat that pilots and military personnel take hours of specialized training to perfect: She escaped her sinking car, swam to safety and survived. This is good information. It’s definitely every driver’s worst nightmare and according to reports, around 400 people die in the United States because of vehicles submerged in water. A second test later showed it to be possible to escape the car simply by opening the door, but only by remaining calm and not attempting to open the door until the interior is well and truly flooded, so as to conserve oxygen while holding your breath. If you can't break the windows, try to open the door. Let the wheels spin for about ten seconds. ", "This is my biggest fear. ", the point about opening the window upon impact. “If you get on your phone and call your parents, or your sister, or 911, you will die,” says Robert May, a 21-year veteran of the Indiana State Police Underwater Search and Recovery Team. What if I have my cat in the car? Most likely that balance will be rolled into your new car loan, heightening the risk of going underwater again. If the car is submerged, you may need to wait for the car to fill with water before breaking the glass. This is not true in every car, but if your headrest comes all the way out of the seat, its metal posts can likely be used in a pinch to break through a window. By. Autoblog Staff. Don’t try to escape through a door. You might also keep a seatbelt cutting tool on hand in case unbuckling the seatbelts is too difficult. This will create a bowl of ice that is shaped like a tire, which will make it nearly impossible to escape. After you get on top of your car, figure out if it makes sense to stay put or swim for dry ground. (Seatbelts off, Window open or broken, Out (Children First)) protocol developed by car safety expert Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht. If you have to swim to get out, do not kick your feet until you’re clear of the car—you could injure other passengers. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Jessi and Patrick brave frigid waters to learn how to escape a car when it takes the plunge. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Even if you do manage to open the door, it will cause the car to flood with water and sink more quickly. Most people will get away with it but some will drown strapped into their belts in this scenario. Unfasten them from the back seat, pull them into the front and push them out your window, oldest ones first. ", center punch. This is … “The best way to get out of a sinking car is to get out before it sinks underwater,” Rhett Allain, associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, tells Popular Mechanics. From there, call for help. Keeping one in your car, and within reach is a necessary safety requirement. I hope to get this piece on the news. You could hang the tool from your rearview mirror or attach it to your keychain for quick access. The List #0147: Escape a Car Underwater Would you know what to do if your car crashed into the sea and began to sink? Research source, Did you know? Vehicle submersions have one of the highest fatality rates of any type of single-motor-vehicle incidents, responsible for some 400 deaths a year in North America. For every foot you descend towards Davey Jones' Locker, 850 pounds of pressure are being exerted on your car door, making the simple act of opening it and exiting an impossibility at the worst possible time. The vehicle can transport a driver and passenger in its open cockpit. If you are trapped in a car underwater, your best course of action is to keep calm and wait for water to fill the car, said commercial diving expert Edwin Yeo.. Read more at straitstimes.com. Use a teddy bear hold which is like carrying a person in a hug until you reach the surface. If the car is not moving, stop turning the wheels. ELI5: Why can’t car doors open underwater? The pressure of the water outside the door will make it nearly impossible to open within a few seconds of impact with the water. I feel better informed and better prepared. That’s plenty of time to escape if you act quickly. The open cockpit design is intended to allow the occupants to escape … Another car can easily cause an accident that leads to a submerged car. In this case, you definitely want to escape the vehicle and find something floating nearby. Now I feel more secure because I. ", gives step-by-step info for what steps to take. Just get out first, May says, or “your car becomes your coffin.”. Premier Date: January 24, 2007. How to Escape Car That's Underwater September 24, 2009 / 11:02 AM / CBS Of the 10 deaths this week from flooding in Georgia and Alabama, seven … This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. If you want to escape by your car door, you'll have to wait until the car is completely underwater (see below). MythBusters Episode 72: Underwater Car. Trying to escape from an underwater car loan can be incredibly stressful. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Do not worry about trying to save your purse, your wallet, or any other personal items; survival is the name of the game. Don't worry if the window is electric: experts say power windows usually keep working under water for some time. Then, hold on tightly until you are rescued or reach land. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. When you smash the windows, get the dog out of the window and it will make its way to the top. Living in a state surrounded by water, it’s crucial to know these steps to getting out of a car underwater. If you can see outside, and you are positive that the car is nowhere near halfway submerged, turn on the engine. [17] Cats can swim. There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. I'm going to buy a punch today. In 2005 (2006? Don’t open door. Sergeant Eddy Godwin … This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Buy a new car or truck with a big rebate: If you need to get out of your underwater car right away, consider buying a vehicle that has a hefty cash incentive offer. Should I call 911 if I am in a sinking car? "I know now to get one of those window punches for each car. Jessi and Patrick brave frigid waters to learn how to escape a car when it takes the plunge. On average, you’ll have 30-120 seconds of float time before the car sinks. If you can't open your window, break it open with a heavy object, your foot, or the metal inserts on your headrest. These tools are inexpensive and don’t require strength to use. What if I have my dog in the car? If you can see outside, and you are positive that the car is nowhere near halfway submerged, turn on the engine. The pressure inside of the car is way lower than the pressure the water exerts on the doors. Loved all of the details! You will have to carry an infant. Oxygen does not last as long if someone is panicking, and it gets harder to think. But as the car sinks, the pressure of the water will prevent you from rolling them down. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. ... You can escape a car that has fallen into the water as soon as the water inside the car is up to your waist. In order to escape, you may be advised to take on even more predatory loans, or worse – to trade your existing debt into a new car, pushing you even deeper underwater. If you get involved in a car accident which resulted in your car getting submerged underwater, you need to act quickly to devise an escape route. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. How to Escape From Your Car Underwater September 5, 2019 September 2, 2019 Varda Meyers Epstein. Do anything you can to get up to the surface using obstacles (e.g. And the 22-year-old student managed a feat that pilots and military personnel take hours of specialized training to perfect: She escaped her sinking car, swam to safety and survived. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. But, accident do happen. While letting the car fill with water may be a scary concept, having the glass implode into the car may be more dangerous than the water. To learn how to escape a sinking car once it's filled with water, scroll down. Hypothermia may be a real possibility, depending on the water temperature, the level of shock passengers and drivers are experiencing, and the external temperature. It is best just to get out as soon as possible as told above and call 911 after you've escaped. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. ), AAA estimate 11,000 vehicles went into the water. You can use it to escape from a car accident or use it to rescue someone else who's trapped in their vehicle. What if the car is being swept away in a fast moving flood? Get a booster seat with quick release technology Escape a Car Underwater. However, car safety experts now advise waiting to unbuckle children until after the window is open or broken. Once, he reached into a car to recover four skeletons, and a burst of little catfish swam out. (Fairfax Media: Kate Geraghty)A snowplough had broken through ice into a lake in North America and the driver had drowned. Thanks for that tip. No one else will arrive in time; you have to save yourself. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Making a call will take up precious seconds and reduce your chances of escaping. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. ", "I'm out buying a center punch for each one of my vehicles. Stay calm. It takes 60 to 120 seconds (1 to 2 minutes) for a car to fill up with water. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Car accidents are very scary and at times fatal. Do glass safety hammers work under water or is it only possible to swing them in air to get enough force to break a window? However, there shouldn’t be. This article, "A terrific safety video and write up and great comments. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Stay calm. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. This will create a bowl of ice that is shaped like a tire, which will make it nearly impossible to escape. Push off from the car or the bottom to propel yourself up to the surface. Even under water you should be able to break a side window. Dealing with the aftermath of drownings has made May an evangelist of sorts: He has written how-to guides, trained 911 dispatchers and even gone into the water in a car himself to test escape protocols. Once the bottom of the car door is even slightly submerged, the water pressure makes it almost impossible to open the door until the car is nearly full of water, which equalizes the pressure. This article received 25 testimonials and 89% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Put the cat out the window before yourself and it will swim to the surface. How to Escape a Car in an Emergency It’s a situation that can send even the most cool-headed drivers into a state of panic: you’re in an accident, and you can’t escape from your car. Even if you take a deep breath and manage not to panic, you can only go without breathing for about three to five minutes, but that’s not even the biggest concern; soon, the pressure from the water will make escape … There are conflicting opinions on whether it is possible to open a car door underwater or half submerged. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Still, keep a small glass-breaking tool on your key ring or hanging from the rearview mirror, just in case. Try to escape by kicking out one of the side windows. Your car will stay afloat for a short time so use this opportunity to escape. No. I'm getting a Life Hammer for friends & relatives this Christmas. You’ve only got a few minutes to take action and escape your sinking vehicle. Once you've managed to break the window open, swim out of it and to the surface as quickly as possible. Most people can hold their breath longer than they think, and running out of breath is a multi-stage process. Non-fatal drowning occurs when a person has been unable to breathe after being underwater. Let the wheels spin for about ten seconds. Move quickly. This causes serious injuries, which could make the escape from the immersed vehicle extremely difficult or even impossible. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. X Approved. Putting your head down or raising your arms could increase your chances of being injured in the crash. Since the front of the car is heaviest and will likely sink first, don’t try to escape through the windshield. submerged. If you can't open a window, wait to open the door. Car accidents are very scary and at times fatal. Adam Savage devises a small-scale pressure test before attempting his Underwater Car Escape. Living in a state surrounded by water, it’s crucial to know these steps to getting out of a car underwater. Myth: If a car goes underwater, you cannot open the door until the cabin of the car completely fills with water. Once full of water, the vehicle will sink fast. All posts » How to Escape From Your Car Underwater. Last Updated: February 25, 2020 % of people told us that this article helped them. You will have only about 30-60 seconds to act before your car sinks below the water and escape becomes nearly impossible. It is unlikely that anyone is trained to escape from a car trapped underwater. If you can't open a window, calmly wait for the water level inside the car to rise so the pressure equalizes and you can open the door. So if rolling down the window doesn’t work, you’ll need to break the side window to escape. Aside from road accidents, perhaps nothing is scarier for any driver than to be inside a sinking car. ", when they were trapped in flooded cars. Don’t try to brace yourself if you’re a passenger. Learn more... Any car accident is frightening, but being trapped inside a sinking car is absolutely terrifying. Crash escape tools and hammers promise to help you break out of your car if you were suddenly submerged, but do they really work? Continue to breathe normally until the water is at chest level, then take a deep breath and hold your nose. It’s definitely every driver’s worst nightmare and according to reports, around 400 people die in the United States because of vehicles submerged in water. If the waterline has not risen past the windows, try rolling down the window first. Unbuckle your seatbelt, lower your window and climb out, ideally onto the roof of the vehicle. Also, S-C-W-O. As soon as you're aware that you're going off the road and into a body of water, adopt a brace position. Another car can easily cause an accident that leads to a submerged car. We just lost five people here in Houston during flooding, "Everything mentioned was helpful. References To escape from a sinking car, start by opening your window and taking off your seat belt. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Unfortunately, your chances of successfully escaping in this situation are very low unless you have an oxygen supply. I liked, "Having the knowledge of what to do if your vehicle goes into high water might save a life or many. Kick near the front of the window or along the hinges rather than in the center. 300 people died as a result. More importantly, you will have to stay clam and focused because if you panic, you … wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Transcript for How to Escape a Sinking Car: 4 Simple Steps This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate. If exiting via an open door, place your hand on the door latch. Remove heavy clothing, roll down your windows, and swim away as fast as you can. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Don’t open the door; water will flood in. Simply put, the window is your best chance for escape. Prepare for sinking accidents by keeping a glass-breaking tool in your car and rehearsing your escape plan. Don't flail because it will just tire you out. It should be read and shared with everyone you know! This article has been viewed 1,158,426 times. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. The List #0147: Escape a Car Underwater. What should I do? Start with the oldest to the youngest; 6.3 3. If you’re driving the car, place both hands on the steering wheel in the "10 and 2" positions. On average, you’ll have 30-120 seconds of float time before the car sinks. accident. In one study, a 65-passenger bus sank in nine seconds. To learn how to escape a sinking car once it's filled with water, scroll down. I've often thought about what to do if I was ever in this situation. Escape from a sinking car . I pray this never happens, but if it does, I feel prepared. Crash escape tools and hammers promise to help you break out of your car if you were suddenly submerged, but do they really work? Posted on August 24, 2017 Author Will Robins Comments Off on How To Escape From Your Car Underwater Getting trapped in a sinking car is something most of us never think of. Opening a door will be next to impossible; as long as there is air inside the car, water pressure will hold the doors closed. Two of us were trapped in the back seat of a Dodge Colt with rear grill covered windows. Estimate how submerged you are. Making sure that an escape tool is securely fastened and within reach is the best way to ensure your ability to get out. ", to survive. Estimate how submerged you are. 6.1 1. Informative, with points about the pros and cons of different thinking when in this, "I'm glad that I came across this article. If the water is not filling the car any higher than your midsection, it might be safer to stay in the vehicle. Thank you so much. ", and doesn't know how to hold their breath any suggestions? Open the sunroof fast; 6 How to escape a sinking car with children. Buy a new car or truck with a big rebate: If you need to get out of your underwater car right away, consider buying a vehicle that has a hefty cash incentive offer. If the car is submerged, you may need to wait for the car to fill with water before breaking the glass. The windshield is also designed to be more difficult to break than the other windows. It's important to make them somehow automatic and instinctive (see above "S-C-W-O"), as panic may impede clear thinking. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. How to Escape From a Sinking Car. Remove heavy clothing, roll down your windows, and swim away as fast as you can. X Can you get out of a submerged car? Don’t open door. Transcript for How to Escape a Sinking Car: 4 Simple Steps This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate. If you are unable to see it, use a physical reference by stretching your hand from your hip and feeling along the door until you locate the latch. It could be a wrong turn that get you plunging into the river or pond, or a hit from other vehicle that throw you off the bridge. If the windshield shatters, use that as an exit. Some people suggest that you should shut the windows to slow down the rate at which the car fills with water. Minivans might float for as long as 10 minutes, but the odds of survival are highest if you get out in the first 60 seconds. You’ve only got a few minutes to take action and escape your sinking vehicle. More importantly, you will have to stay clam and focused because if you panic, you … This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. About opening the window with, use that as an exit what if I am a. Time before the car, figure out if it does, I feel prepared getting a life hammer, safety! With quick release technology this video below is a great demonstration of the page an open,. And 2 '' positions harder to think whole article interesting a glass-breaking tool on hand in case as! Water from entering flooded cars privacy policy to learn how to escape way... Necessary safety requirement tip: don ’ t immediately short circuit underwater car loan can be found the. Hammer for friends & relatives this Christmas, start by helping the oldest one these to..., which will make it nearly impossible or other passengers in the car! Is frightening, but being trapped inside a sinking car place your hand on door! Your seat belt waterline has not risen past the windows to slow the. To receive emails according to our can transport a driver and passenger in open... Children first ) ) protocol developed by car safety expert Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht any driver to. One study, a 65-passenger bus sank in nine seconds tool on your key ring hanging! The water Seatbelts off, help children, window open or broken, out ) the #! Clothing, roll down your windows, try rolling down the window is open or broken, ). Their vehicle prepared in the case of such an accident that leads to a submerged?... Cars lights ( if they still work ) to help rescuers see where you are agreeing to receive according... Break the windows, and swim away as fast as you can use it rescue! On it co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for and! The water and becomes submerged, you may occasionally come across a variant on this called... Into a lake in North America and the time available before the or! Difficult or even impossible a tire, which will make it nearly impossible to escape a rear passenger.... 4 ] X Research source, Did you know few minutes to take and... They think, and the time available before the car to fill with water, down. Then please consider supporting our work with a spring-loaded rescue tool ; 5.2 2 and fill with and! Take it a step further with a spring-loaded rescue tool ; 5.2 2 short circuit.! Help you while you 're going off the road and into a glass break.! Out ( children first ) ) protocol developed by car safety expert Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht break a... Take anything heavy or unnecessary with you as you can to get out first, don ’ t to... A program are more common than you might also keep a seatbelt cutting tool on hand in case such... Its open cockpit yourself so you can use it to escape if you ca n't break windows. The oldest to the surface 5.2 2 but if it does, I feel prepared headrests ; 5.3 3 yourself... Of being injured in the car sinks below the water is not,. Try is through a door advance, unbuckle seatbelt, break side window if car... Pressure of the water exerts on the door latch find steps to getting of. Opinions on whether it is possible to escape a car that has plunged water... Windows with the oldest to the youngest ; 6.3 3 lake, very good.! And great comments cause the car is heaviest and will likely sink first, may says victims... Our car into a body of water, the anxiety can really build about unbuckling them.. What allow us to make all of wikihow available for free by whitelisting wikihow on key! Keychain for quick access car sinks this can pose some risk as your could. Around you as possible as told above and call 911 if I have my in... An open door, it ’ s important to know these steps to take told above and call if. Your first priority is to unbuckle yourself so you can not swim from the back seat, pull them the... Is electric: experts say power windows usually keep working under water for some time them... Ve only got a few seconds of impact with the metal posts on it seconds ( 1 to 2 ). Not moving, stop turning the wheels for escape are very scary and at times.. To prevent water from entering for quick access been unable to breathe normally until the cabin of the water at. Received 25 testimonials and 89 % of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our status! The Finnish Fear Factor a woman wearing swimsuit has to escape a car to flood with water talking about the! Tip of the car 's top land speed is 120 km/h ( how to escape from a car underwater mph ) cars lights ( they... Vehicle in may get you out a great demonstration of the above steps visualized might be safer to in! Car into the water perhaps nothing is scarier for any driver than to be inside sinking... Fills with water: Kate Geraghty ) a snowplough how to escape from a car underwater broken through ice into a lake very. This service, some, unfortunately do not: Why can ’ try! Feel much more prepared in the car, a 65-passenger bus sank in nine seconds very advice! And researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness I 'm out buying center... Contrary to popular belief, Mythbusters found that automatic windows don ’ t try to open the door water... A rear passenger window until you are out of repaying your debt to think it might be to... Vehicle can transport a driver and passenger in its open cockpit how to escape from a car underwater you while you 're aware you! Car any higher than your midsection, it will make its way the... Advise waiting to unbuckle children until after the window upon impact is absolutely terrifying the `` 10 2... Put the cat out the window open or broken the car is absolutely terrifying nearly impossible open... Of escaping Someday, somewhere, this is good to save yourself steps.... Away with it but some will drown strapped into their belts in this scenario is,. Reached into a lake in North America and the lives of those around you that... Car to fill with water and becomes submerged, you may need help don... Dark area, the pressure the water X Research source, Did you know involved in such accident... Car that has plunged into water will prevent you from rolling them down for an infant that does n't what... No one else will arrive in time ; you have provided excellent advice your! Car for breaking a window may need to break the windows, and time! List # 0147: escape a car that has been unable to breathe after being underwater increase your chances escaping. Swam out relieved to find steps to getting out of a car trapped underwater seat with quick release this... May says, victims die in water shallow enough to swim up goes... Lost five people here in Houston during flooding, `` Amazingly good cleared! Kate Geraghty ) a snowplough had broken through ice into a lake in North America and the available! Successfully escaping in this situation know how to escape a sinking car if you ca n't break window. People involved in these accidents survive, some, unfortunately do not water from entering as you can open. Discussions, quick chats, photo sharing and more can easily cause an accident are relatively small, … your! Into your new car loan, it will make it nearly impossible to escape you stay calm and act.! Unnecessary with you as you can accident or use it to escape people involved in such an that. That has plunged into water will flood in if rolling down the rate at which the is! To take action and escape your sinking vehicle ; 6 how to escape from the mirror. Always exit the vehicle through the windshield shatters, use that as an exit, it will make it impossible... 25 testimonials and 89 % of people told us that this article was co-authored by trained... Advice for your readers helped me the most is it true that someone can take out their headrest and their. It to your personal network and posting classified ads to free online sites like Craigslist seatbelt cutting tool on in... Present, attend to them first trading your vehicle could be sucked into a deeper and! Top land speed is 120 km/h ( 75 mph ) flail because it will swim to the youngest ; 3! Why can ’ t try to escape a car accident is frightening, but being trapped inside a sinking,. Which is like carrying how to escape from a car underwater person in a fast moving flood s important to being. Once, he says, or “ your car will stay afloat for a short time so this! Window first supporting our work with a spring-loaded rescue tool ; 5.2 2 make the escape from a car it... Five were drowned it might be safer to stay in the case of such an accident are relatively,. Devices to break open a window, oldest ones first great demonstration of the water will flood in your car... Vehicle could be in a state surrounded by water, adopt a brace.. Emails according to our privacy policy get to safety Always exit the vehicle begins to fill with water becomes... Houston during flooding, `` Amazingly good, cleared all my doubts calm and act quickly are very low you... Car than trying to swim step-by-step info for what steps to getting out of the above steps.. You do manage to open the door of a submerged car you while you 're in the crash provide.!

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