If you’re like most people, the thought of driving into water can fill you with dread.
There are piers, bridges, pools, ponds, docks or other water reservoirs in almost every city in almost every state in almost every country on the planet. This means that the risk of driving your car into one of these reservoirs is a constant threat to both life and property.
However, by knowing the steps outlined below, you can mitigate the risk to life associated with driving a vehicle into a body of water.
A Real-World Danger
Many people believe that, though it could be terrifying, driving a vehicle into a body of water is not something that really happens in real life. However, the truth is that more than 400 people drown in their vehicles every year.
By pretending that this sort of incident could never happen to you, you only increase your risk of death if it does. On the other hand, by committing to memory the steps below, you not only reduce the risk of yourself dying in a sinking car but simultaneously increase your ability to save others from sinking cars.
How To Be a Hero
First things first, make sure to always have a rescue knife in a readily accessible location in your vehicle. It is important for that knife to be razor sharp and have a window-breaking tool. Most people will put it in their glove box or center console.
Step 1: Secure Yourself and Your Passengers
If you are traveling alone, simply remove your seatbelt and move onto step two. However, if you are with pets or people, make sure to explain that you have a plan. Most people tend to calm down when presented with a solid plan. Unfortunately, you won’t have time to explain it in detail.
Bring everybody into the front two seats, as you’ll be escaping through the windows and the front windows are larger. If their seatbelts do not release, cut them out.
Step 2: Break the Windows
It is often said that, in the case of a sinking car, you should wait for the vehicle to completely fill with water before trying to escape. The theory is that this will equalize the pressure of the outside and inside of the vehicle, but Mythbusters has proven that doing this would make you much more likely to drown.
Instead, take your window-breaking tool out of its storage location and break the window.
Step 3: Swim to Safety
Once the windows break, the vehicle will start filling with water even faster. Take a deep breath and start swimming to the surface. Make sure that the weakest swimmers go first, so that the strongest can help them if the need arises.
With these three steps accurately committed to your memory, you’ll be able to save yourself and your family in the event of an accidental vehicular submersion (legal speak for “underwater car”). On top of these benefits, you just might be able equipped to save another person’s life if you happen to see a vehicle go offroad into some water.