Finding yourself in a sinking vehicle can be a terrifying experience and staying in panic could keep you from being able to escape. Memorise these easy tips so you can stay calm and escape quickly and safely if this ever happens to you.
Stay as calm as possible
Panic = death. First, stay calm. Because hyperventilating and wasting your energy on ineffective actions will shorten your time to hold your breath. Stay focused and conserve your energy for escape.
Your best chance to escape is the first 30 - 120 seconds
On average you have 20 - 120 seconds of float time before the car sinks. Escape and act quickly as there is plenty of time.
Unbuckle your seatbelt
Remember four words: Seatbelts. Children. Windows. Out.” Quickly unbuckle your seatbelt and if the buckle is stuck, cut it off.
Do not open your door
Don’t choose to open the door. It’s possible to escape in this way but it would be difficult to do even with just a foot of water. Cars will also sink almost immediately after, making it impossible for passengers to escape.
Make sure the children and passengers can get out of their seatbelts. Guide and instruct them to exit through their own window if possible, or else pull them to the front of the car.
Roll down or break the window
Escape through the window. Try rolling it first, if that doesn’t work, use an auto rescue tool to safely shatter the window. It’s nearly impossible to break using your arms and legs due to high water pressure.
Swim out through the window and to safety. This can all be done in well under 30 seconds if you stay calm and have mentally rehearsed the scenario before it happens