No one expects to find their car going head-first into water, but 300 Americans die each year in submerged cars. If you know what to do, it could save your life. Here’s what the experts say.
Cars and water just don’t mix. If your car accidentally goes off the road and hits water, or perhaps a flash flood comes by and takes you by surprise, you have only about a minute to react. The way you react could mean the difference between life and death.
If your first thought is to grab your cell phone and call for help, you might not survive such an accident. You’ll lose too much time and your best bet is to ignore the phone completely.
When a car is floating in water, you have about a minute before it sinks. An ABC News report says that you should do the following in order: unbuckle your seatbelt, roll down the window, unbuckle any children that might be in the car, and flop your way out.
Windows don’t always work in water, so a life-saving device you might want to carry is an emergency car window puncher.
In the past, the show ‘MythBusters’ has popularized the advice that it’s best to wait for the car to sink, settle and fill with water. This equalizes the pressure so that you can open the door and swim away. Rescue workers believe that waiting like that could have grave results for many. Your best course of action is to get out of the car before the water reaches the window line.
Hopefully, you’ll never be in the situation, but it’s a good idea to tuck that information away in your mind just in case the unthinkable does happen.