It is uncommon to hear your friends or fellow drivers talk about how to survive a car crash in water, yet it can happen.
No one wants to find themselves trapped in a car after it lands in water. But again, you can confront a collapsing bridge without knowing, and it gives way.
The brakes can also fail, resulting in the car rolling into a river or lake. The nagging question is whether you would be ready to save your life and those of the other occupants.
Thank heavens, surviving a car crash in water is possible if you equip yourself with the correct information. You can also increase your chances of survival if you carry a penknife inside the car.
Keep reading to find out more about how to save your life if your car plunges into water.
What to expect from a sinking car?
What you can expect from a sinking car will depend on prior speed, the distance of the fall, and the plunge angle. The vehicle’s safety mechanism, weight, and physical traits can also give you a hunch.
In most cases, the car will land on the water and start sipping it at a snail’s pace. Modern vehicles will take about one to five minutes before sinking.
The engine’s weight will pull the front side down first as the car sinks at an angle. This offers you and your passengers’ ample time to escape.
How to Survive a Car Crash in Water
1. Stay calm
Panic is often prevalent during emergencies, but it can deter your thinking and judgment. It would be best to remain calm even if the airbags deploy.
Resist the urge to move or remove the seat belt to prevent severe injuries or the car from flipping and sinking faster.
Psychological experts recommend taking a few deep breaths to calm yourself before leaping into action. This will help you make informed decisions that could be lifesaving.
2. Assess the situation
Check the direction and speed of water flow if you plunge in a river. It is safer and easier to unbuckle the seat belt and open the doors before the water reaches the windows.
Ensure you go the direction water is flowing to since it will often have less external pressure.
Also, confirm the surrounding is safe before you rush to escape. Foreign objects could still be falling toward your direction and can cause injuries.
If the car sinks in a lake or dam, you can open any of the doors before being submerged.
3. Unbuckle the seat belt
Most people have an unfound fear that a seat belt will not unbuckle if a car crashes into water. They don’t know that a seat belt could make the difference between life and death.
With a seat belt on, you will be in a better place to stop your body and head from slamming on the vehicle’s interiors if it hits the water at high speed.
It also prevents running water from sweeping you away. More so, it increases your chances of survival unless you end up unconscious after the plunge.
A seat belt unbuckles fast unless it is faulty. If the surrounding is clear, unbuckle it and move out. If it declines to release, find something sharp to cut it off.
4. Open windows or doors
On average, most cars have larger front windows or doors, offering an easier escape route for you and the occupants.
After unbuckling the seat belt, open the doors or windows and escape before the vehicle submerges.
Sometimes, the car will sink faster, and the water may interfere with the functionality of the windows to roll down.
If the window fails to roll down, you may have to break it. This might be tough, considering most automotive windows have full-tempered glass.
Your best shot to break the window is to hit it with a metal object while concentrating the force on a tiny area.
The doors can also refuse to open due to the pressure of the outside water. Don’t panic or waste your energy pushing the door.
Wait for the water to get in the car. The inside pressure will equalize that on the outside, and you can then move out or swim to safety.
Frequently Asked Questions about Surviving a Sinking Car Accident
Will a car work after being submerged in water?
On average, most cars short circuit electrical components, making it hard to start. The engine may also sip water, which can mix with oil and cause damages if you ignite.
Can I call 911 if my car crashes into water?
It is unwise to call 911 at that moment. Chances are that the emergency response team will take much time to arrive, and you could drown. The best cause of action is to save yourself and passengers first and call 911 after everyone is safe.
How can you get water from an engine?
Remove the plastic engine cover and the spark plugs. Dry every part with a dry towel. Ensure you check for water droplets in the engine oil and pull the hand-crank over to confirm if it rotates freely.
How much water can sweep a car?
Six inches of water is enough to make a car lose control, float, and carry it away.
What happens if water gets in the exhaust tailpipe?
If water enters the tailpipe, it lays in the lower part of the mufflers and can cause ignition problems. The good news is that the manifold prevents it from finding its way into the engine.
How do you dry a car that has crashed into water?
You can use a vacuum to remove standing water on cushions, seats, and the floor. You should also tow the car to a garage for a check-up without starting it. Achieving this will prevent more engine damage.
Not all experts agree on all the tips on how to survive a car crash in the water. The precise sequence of escape also depends on the situation at hand. The best cause of action is to get out of the car as soon as possible.