If you were trapped in a sinking vehicle, would you know how to escape? Here are the steps to take, from University of Manitoba professor Gordon Giesbrecht, a renowned expert on the effects of cold on the human body:
Undo your seat belt and the belts of any children or other passengers.
Open the window as soon as you hit the water. The car’s electrical system should work up to three minutes in water. Don’t bother with the door; once water surrounds it, it is impossible to open until the entire car is filled with water.
Break the window. If the window doesn’t open, you will need to break it. If you don’t have a heavy tool, use your feet. Kick near the front of the window or along the hinges. Don’t bother with the windshield since it is almost impossible to break; go for side windows.
Swim out. Take a deep breath and swim out through the open window. If you have been unable to break a window and the car has equalized (the cabin is filled with water), try to escape through the door of your sinking vehicle. Then swim up as quickly as possible. If you are disoriented and don’t know which way is up, release some air bubbles and swim in the direction they go.
Get medical attention as soon as possible. Your adrenaline level will be high and you may not be aware immediately of any injuries.
The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any serious accident or death. If you have a question about an accident involving a serious injury or fatality, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.