If You Are Trapped In A Sinking Car, This Is What You Need To Do To Survive

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 us 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 and flooding the interior, opening the doors and windows becomes 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 in the ABC News video below say speed is of the essence. You will likely have under a minute to act and escape the car. They advise people to get out of a sinking car before it goes under the water, 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 through the front windows because back car 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 you sink before getting out, then make sure you have a car window glass breaking tool/seatbelt cutter at your disposal. Without this kind of tool, the survival tip is to try breaking the car windows by hitting the side edges, not the center. Car windows are far more likely to break than a car’s windshield because they are made with tempered glass. And the edges of a car window are easier to shatter than the center.

ABC News demonstrates what to do in such a situation in the informative video below.

As with any safety advice, please consult with experts and trained professionals to educate yourself on what to do in an emergency.

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