The rate of survival from a sinking car is usually high if you are able to escape within 60 seconds.
Experts aver that it is easier to break out while the car is floating on the surface, however, you are advised not to open the door as water will flood in.
“Once full of water, the vehicle will sink fast,” the New York Times reports.
Another mistake to avoid is trying to look for your phone to call for help. Search and recovery specialists say more often than not, you have to save yourself.
“If you get on your phone and call your parents, or your sister, or 112, you will die,” says Robert May, who works for the Indiana State Police Underwater team.
May writes how-to guides for underwater training and is an instructor for 112 dispatchers.
NYT reports that electric car windows still work after impact with water but it is important to keep a small glass-breaking tool on your key ring or hanging from the rearview mirror, just in case.
According to Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, from the University of Manitoba, avoid trying to break the windshield as the front of the car is generally the heaviest and sinks first.
Below are key steps to follow in the unfortunate event that you find yourself in a sinking vehicle:
- Unbuckle your seatbelt
- Open of break driver’s window
- If there are children present, attend to them first
- Unfasten them from their seat
- Pull them out into the front
- Push them out through your window, oldest ones first
- Climb out