Did you know an estimated 400 people drown in the United States each year because their cars are trapped in water?
Getting trapped in a sinking car is a situation that most of will thankfully never have to experience. But what if you did? What would you do to escape the vehicle? With the pressure from the water pushing on a submerged car an flooding the interior, opening the doors and windows is near impossible. And with computerized systems controlling the doors and windows of many cars, they might malfunction if flooded with water.
That’s why experts say speed is of the essence. You will have likely under a minute to act and escape the car. They advise people to get out of a sinking car before it goes under, which means you have a very short amount of time to get out of the vehicle. The key steps are to get your seatbelt off and open the car windows within that 30 to 60 seconds.
People in the back seat will likely have to get out the front windows because back windows don’t always open, so passengers should be educated about what to do in case of emergency. If there are kids in the back seats, then adults will likely have to help free them from their seats and pull and push them through the front windows.
If your car doesn’t have manual rollers to open the window or you sink before getting out, then make sure you have an inexpensive back up – a car window break tool. Without this tool, the survival tip is to try breaking the car windows by hitting the edges, not the centre. Car windows are far more likely to break than a car’s windshield because they are made with tempered glass.
ABC News demonstrates what to do in the informative video below. Share these life-saving tips with your family and friends.