Road trips are seemingly harmless. We take entering and stepping out of a vehicle as an everyday reflex, without being aware that water and vehicles are quite the dangerous combo.
Vehicle submersion happens more frequently than you might think, and in North America alone, around 400 deaths have been reported as result of this unfortunate incident.
Although we have seen how that works in the movies, with people trying to escape the car once it has filled in with water, the truth is a person has much less time than that.
According to a research published in Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine by Gerren K. McDonald and Gordon Giesbrecht, cases of vehicle submersion fall into the most lethal category of deaths, even in drowning cases.
To learn how to shield yourself in times of panic, take a look at the guidelines below.
An impact is imminent, so be prepared.
Once the impact has happened, you will be left with 30 seconds to 1 minute to get out. The main factor to keep in mind here is to stay collected and use the time well.
Unlock the seat belt
Seat belts are practical in times of an accident, but once you make contact with the water, it becomes one big obstacle. Remove your own seat belt as quick as you can and then help others do the same.
Put the window down
Although time is short when it comes to electronically controlled windows, you can get it done before the water reaches the bottom of the side windows.
Manual window control is far easier to handle, but with the right precision you can do it just in time to get out of the car.
Swim as far from the vehicle as possible
The vehicle should be exited from the window closest to you. The door should never be opened. This will increase the amount of water penetrating the vehicle, which will shorten you time to react.
The best time to call 911 is after you have escaped from the car. If you do so while still in the car, you lose time to save yourself first. No patrol will be able to respond in 1 minute, so you have to think clearly. If you lost your phone, try seeking help on site.
Make sure to get the children out of the car first. The elder can help carry youngsters and babies. Move them to the front of the vehicle, so they can exit the front window.
The window won’t open
In case your window is electronically managed and cannot open in time, find a breaking tool, or ultimately use your feet to crack the window open. Of course, you can buy one, which won’t cost you a fortune but could save your life.
Expert, Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht of the University of Manitoba, is a personal trainer in cases of drowning when in vehicle and noted the brand Res-Q-Me is a great manner to keep yourself safe in cases of emergency.
The hammer is built with a stainless steel tip and is intended to crack open windows. Also, it comes with a knuckle cover to keep you safe from broken glasses pieces.
ResQMe Keychain ($9.95)
This is a smaller tool that shatters glass easily and helps drivers in various circumstances. All in all, it is a handy tool to have by your side.