Protect Your Vehicle

How to Escape a Sinking Car

When Carrie Mattingly lost control of her SUV on an icy road, she and her daughter went headlong into a nearby pond. The Washington state residents crashed through a fence and had precious seconds to get out with their lives. This type of accident is always overlooked when it comes to emergency preparedness. People think that it can’t happen to them or that those types of situations only happen in movies but watch the news and you’ll see it actually happens pretty often.

Roadways near bodies of water might not be repaired and they also freeze faster when the temperature drops. If you aren’t careful on these roads you can get into serious trouble. When Carrie and her daughter escaped from that submerged SUV, they taught us all a little something about keeping cool when danger strikes.

How did she escape the sinking SUV?
The first thing she did when she realized what was happening was roll down the windows. Moving through the windows before the car becomes submerged is the fastest way to escape this type of situation. This escape plan is not without some problems. Rolling down the windows is only really an option if the car is still in decent working order after it’s smashed up. It also helps if the vehicle is upright and the windows are still above the surface. Once that SUV goes off the road there is no way to know what will happen until it comes to a rest. You’ve go tot be prepared for anything.

It may be that the windows need to be smashed in order to escape. An emergency escape tool is what you’ll need in this instance. These can be purchased at most auto parts stores, hardware stores, or easily online. Make sure that it has a pointed steel head that can quickly punch through car windows.

Seat belts are fine for while you’re driving, but when your car is drowning in a lake they aren’t so great. Carrie had the brains to unbuckle the safety belts so that her and her daughter could get out fast. Just like the windows, a seat belt may not unbuckle easily if the car has been damaged. Yet another dynamite reason to keep some kind of vehicle escape tool handy in your car. You can find them equipped with a seat belt cutting blade pretty often. Having a little beast of a pocket knife on you when you drive might just be the one thing that saves you and other passengers. Keep it in your pocket (and your cell phone for that matter) so it doesn’t go flying when you make contact.

I escaped my own sinking car. Now what?
If your car is sinking  get to the top. This way you rescuers can spot you when they get to the scene. Don’t risk going for a swim if you’re injured. Especially if the water is freezing. If possible, stay on the vehicle until you get rescued. Swimming when you’re hurt or when the water is full of ice can make your situation even worse.

Keep Carrie and her daughter in mind as you travel by car this season. Roads are not safe when it gets really cold. Tons of traffic and stressed out drivers are two big causes of car accidents. You have to stay prepared to escape any type of vehicle accident, including  crashing headlong into water.

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Jon Archer

Jon Archer

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