5 Tips for Escaping a Sinking Car

5 Tips for Escaping a Sinking Car

Escaping a sinking car is an important life-saving skill. Knowing how to handle yourself when disaster strikes is crucial. Like many drowning accidents, it can happen faster than a lot of us realize.

Imagine finding yourself in a nightmare scenario: your car plunges into water, leaving you trapped inside as it sinks deeper. This terrifying situation is not just a Hollywood plot; it's a real danger that can happen to anyone.

The Recent Death of Angela Chao in her Tesla

Just consider the tragic case of Angela Chao, a prominent shipping industry CEO and sister-in-law of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Chao lost her life in a pond accident on her Texas ranch.

She was spending the Chinese New Year weekend with her friends at her ranch. Sadly, she made a fatal mistake while attempting a three-point turn and ended up backing into the nearby pond. Such incidents underscore the critical importance of knowing what to do if you ever find yourself in a sinking car.

  1. Escaping a Sinking Car Starts by Staying Calm and Acting Quickly

In moments of crisis, panic can be your worst enemy. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you typically have less than a minute to escape a sinking vehicle. The key is to stay calm and act swiftly. Take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand: getting out safely and onto dry land.

  1. Unbuckle Your Seatbelt

Your seatbelt, designed to keep you safe on the road, can become a deadly restraint in water. As soon as you realize your car is sinking, unbuckle your seatbelt. This action will free you to move and increase your chances of escape. Remember, every second counts.

  1. Open a Window or Door

Despite common belief, you can still open your car's doors or windows in the early stages of submersion. Power windows may work for a short time, but don't rely on them. Instead, immediately try to roll down the window or open the door. If the window won't budge, use a specialized car escape tool to break the glass.

  1. Exit and Swim to Safety

Once you've opened a window or door, waste no time in exiting the vehicle. Remember to leave your belongings behind; they can be replaced, but your life cannot. Swim to the surface using an upward angle to counteract the sinking motion of the car. Once you reach the surface, seek assistance or swim to shore if possible.

  1. Practice Makes Perfect

Preparation is key to surviving a sinking car scenario. Consider taking a water safety course that includes instruction on vehicle submersion. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the location of your car's door locks and windows in case of emergencies. Regularly practicing escape techniques in a controlled environment can help build muscle memory and reduce panic in a real-life situation.

Be Prepared, Stay Safe

Escaping a sinking car is a race against time, but with the right knowledge and quick action, survival is possible. Remember these five tips and share them with your loved ones.

Remember, by:
  • Staying calm,
  • Acting quickly and decisively,
  • and preparing in advance,

you can increase your chances of escaping a sinking car unscathed. Don't wait until it's too late—start practicing and discussing these tips with your family. A life-threatening situation doesn’t need to be fatal.