The Easiest Way To Escape a Sinking Car

We live in a day and age of extreme weather. You never know when you and your family might encounter a horrifying scenario, for example, be the victims of a sinking car.

For most people, they assume that they’d never allow themselves to become the victim of a car sinking in water. And there is no question that common sense can prevent a great deal of tragedies. However, there is a randomness to life that is without regard for your own common sense approaches.

Sinking cars can be the result of a car accident, or even the avoidance of one. You might have to swerve¬†out of the way of an oncoming truck only to get careened into a body of deep water. Once you are being submerged, you only have seconds to figure out a solution to save you and your family’s lives.

I carry a window breaker at all times (like this one on Amazon).

I gave my wife one to carry with her as well. Also, I have one in the car (so 3 total). There is a video below that shows you how to use them. It is a simple device that can save your life. The fact is, you need to get your car window open immediately upon hitting the water. If your car’s electrical components fail, they might not go down.

And if that’s the case, you must break the window out immediately. And that requires the window breaker device (the good thing is this device is also handy if you were to accidentally lock a child or pet inside of your car).

Here are some steps to take:

Brace yourself. When you realize you are going to collide with water, realize that your consciousness is of the utmost importance. If you get knocked out, you can’t execute the plan of breaking the window (or just rolling it down). Place your hands at the 9 and 3 positions. Other positions could interact poorly with the air bag which is likely to fire off and that could cause an injury as well. You need to be calm, but proactive.


Undo seatbelt. You need to get your seatbelt off as soon as possible, preferably after the initial impact. Your window break tool has a seatbelt cutter in the event your seatbelt sticks. This way, you can cut the seatbelt or cut the seatbelt of your kid’s.

When undoing seatbelts, get the oldest first in case they need to help.

Open the window as soon as humanly possible. As we discussed prior, the window needs to be open in order for you and others to escape. Pushing a door open against the pressure of water will be an overwhelming task to say the least. You are far better off attacking the window than you are the door. Your chances of breaking out the window with your tool are far more likely than your chances of opening the door. You must find a way to escape through the window space and bring your child with you. You must swim up to the sruface as quickly as possible.

There is a theory called¬†“maximum conservation of energy.” In this theory, it says you should just stay calm in the car and conserve air and energy until you feel you can safely and calmly exit the car. This theory has been tested and shown to be much less reliant than the theory of breaking the window immediately. One major issue is you might not realize how deep you are sinking.

If you happen to end up sinking with the car, be calm. If the car begins to take on water inside, the pressure will equalize at some point allowing you to open the door. You might wait until water is at chest high.

Here’s an excellent video which shows people escaping from a sinking car. In one example, they are able to quickly get the windows down. In the other example, they break it with their tool.

This is the kind of information which could save your life, or the lives of others some day. With all the extreme weather happening, it is important to know how to deal intelligently with dire situations.

Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.

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