Tips to Help You Survive a Sinking Car Tragedy
Every year, an estimated 400 people drown in their car or truck — accounting for 5-11% of all drowning-related deaths. Car accidents are unpredictable, and even the most cautious driver can find themselves in one. If you’re ever involved in a car crash and your car ends up submerged in water, taking the following steps can increase your chances of survival.
First things first, don’t panic. Panic causes confusion and disorientation, making you forget the steps you need to get out safe and sound. Panicking can also make it difficult for you to salvage available oxygen. So stay calm.
A clear head will enable you to assess the situation and act quickly before your chance of survival slips away. Here are two other mistakes you should avoid:
- Opening your car doors: This will fill your car with water within no time, make it sink quickly, and ruin your chances of escape.
- Waiting for pressure to equalize: Don’t wait for your car to be filled with water to take advantage of the equal pressure theory. While this theory is good on paper, you could drown while waiting for the pressure to equalize.
Unbuckle Your Seatbelt
You don’t want anything restricting your movement when trying to escape from a sinking car. Therefore, unbuckle your seatbelt as quickly as possible. If your seatbelt has jammed, try to cut it with any cutting devices you can lay your hands on.
Roll Down Your Windows
It sounds counterintuitive, but it is the safest way to make it out alive. If you are not fast enough to open the window, break the window with a life hammer or elbow. You can also disassemble your seat’s headrest and use it to break the window.
Swim to Safety
Now that you have broken the window, use your arms to propel you upward and swim to the surface. Refrain from kicking your feet until you’re clear of the car. Doing so immediately could injure other passengers. When swimming, follow the light or any bubbles you may see going up to guide you to the surface. Also, look out for strong currents, rocks, and other obstacles that may injure you.
What if There Were Passengers in the Vehicle?
Here’s what to do. Once you unbuckle your seatbelt, don’t swim out. Assist the other passengers. If there are children in your car, unbuckle them fast and push them out through the open window. Start with the older ones so that they help you get the younger kids to safety.
Get any children out first, and then climb out as quickly as you can. Again, don’t use your legs until you’re clear of the vehicle to avoid hitting anyone who may be behind you. Use your arms instead.
Injured in a Car Accident? We Can Help You Pursue Your Compensation Claim
Were you or your loved one injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence? A car accident attorney can help you file your injury claim. With decades of experience helping car accident victims, you can count on us to successfully help you get the fair and full compensation you are entitled to.