5 Survival Tips We Hope You’ll Never Need

Published October 1, 2015
Updated February 1, 2018

Survival Tips: How To Escape Your Car If It’s Submerged In Water

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1. Leave everything behind. Time is of the essence here, so do not reach for your cell phone, or unplug your AUX cable, or reach for your Garmin. Just get out of the car.

2. Do not open the door (it’s harder to do and speeds up the sinking process) — roll down your windows instead. You’ll have about thirty seconds to a minute before the car fills with water. This is what’s called the “floating period” and it’ll be the most crucial for your escape. Once this period of time elapses, the water pressure will push the car down faster — taking you with it.

3. Got electric windows so the circuits shorted the minute you hit the water? Break the window instead. You can actually buy tools specifically for this purpose. They even come in keychain size.

4. Once the window is open, you should be able to swim up and out — if you can’t open the window, you still have a chance once the pressure has equalized to open the door. The catch being, in order to get to the surface, you’ll need the near super-human ability to hold your breath.

Abby Norman
Abby Norman is a writer based in New England, currently writing a memoir for Nation Books. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Independent, Cosmopolitan, Medium, Seventeen, Romper, Bustle, and Quartz.