Inclement weather can happen at time. We hear stories all over the news about bad weather. Bad weather can lead to slick roads, causing car accidents. Sometimes those accidents happen near areas of open water, such as rivers and lakes. According to studies, there are from hundreds to thousands of vehicle water submersion accidents that occur per year. While that is something none of us ever want to consider happening, we must be prepared in the event the unforeseeable should occur.
Unfortunately, most times in water immersion accidents, there can be no survivors. But if you know what to do in the event of this type of accident, your chances of survival will increase dramatically. If you were on slick roads heading home and your vehicle careered off the road, would you know what to do? While most of us may be confident that we would survive, it can be difficult to think clearly in times of crisis. But if you prepare in advance, you are more likely to be able to think clearly in an emergency.
First thing is, do not panic. I know, easier said than done. It can be difficult to stay calm in an accident, especially if the vehicle is filling up with water quickly. But staying calm is essential to thinking clearly and to saving the amount of oxygen stored in your blood. Panicking will waste the precious energy and air that you will need to rescue yourself, so only concentrate on what you need to do.
Start by first unbuckling your seatbelt. If your seatbelt is stuck, use something to cut it off of you. The same goes for any potential passengers in the vehicle. Tell everyone to take off their seatbelts but if that’s not possible then cut it off. I keep a pair of scissors in my glove compartment, just in case.
According to research, most vehicles will float for about 30 seconds to up to two minutes before sinking. This is the best time to act quickly and escape. If the waterline is below the window, this will be the fastest and easiest mode of escape. Try rolling the window down, but if that’s not possible, then kick the window out before your vehicle becomes submerged.
If the water is at or surpassing the window-line, and your window is open, swim out through the window. Do not attempt to open the door as this will speed up the sinking process. If your windows are up, it may already be difficult to open the window manually at this point. If you cannot roll the window down, try kicking the window out or look for something hard that can break the glass before your vehicle becomes submerged and pressure increases.
BE PREPARED TO GET OUT QUICKLY as by this time water may begin to pull your vehicle under very fast.
If your vehicle is already sinking, do not wait for the water to equalize inside and outside of the vehicle. Doing so may deprive you of the much-needed oxygen you will need to survive. STAY CALM. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is prepared to escape before breaking the window open as water will come rushing in. Do not try to open the door as it will be almost impossible to do with the pressure surrounding you. You do not want to waste your energy or oxygen trying to open a door that may not open. The window is your best chance to escape.
Automatic windows don’t immediately short circuit under water, but there will be little time to utilize this option and again remember that if the vehicle is already submerged, there won’t be much time to get those windows rolled down. Prepare yourself to have to break the window, just in case. Know that the pressure around the vehicle will make it difficult to break a window because most windows are made with tempered glass and designed to be shatter-proof. Your option is to use some type of device that will allow you to easily break the window. Punching or kicking through a window may be extremely difficult to do even if you have a lot of strength.
Here are a few tools that can be purchased in advanced that could help you to survive vehicle immersion.
ResQMe Keychain Device – this device can break the windows of your car easily and also has a built-in seatbelt cutter. It is also lightweight and can be carried on your key chain.
BlueSkyBoss Emergency escape tool – this device can also break the windows of your car easily and also comes with a built-in seatbelt cutter. It’s lightweight and can fit in your glove compartment easily.
InGear AutoXscape Window breaker – this device is a window breaker, seatbelt cutter, and flashlight all in one. It is impact resistant and includes an SOS mode to help you call for help.
You can find many more of these listed all over the internet.
If you do not have one of these tools, other household tools may help you, such as a screwdriver, a hammer, or other solid tool or piece of equipment that you might find in your vehicle. Just about anything solid can be used to try to break a window. I keep a multiuse tool in the pockets of both front doors of my vehicle. I also keep a screwdriver and scissors in my glove compartment. Thinking ahead can truly help you in times of crisis.
If you have passengers with you, do not let yourself out of the vehicle. First explain to your passengers what your plan of action is (breaking the window and swimming out). Once they hear a plan of action they are more likely to stay calm and focus on the plan. Make sure that everyone is able to get out of their seatbelts. If not, you will need to cut their seatbelts off of them as fast as possible. Once all seatbelts are off, proceed to break the window as soon as possible. Once the window is open, pull children out of the windows first, then pull yourself out after, and swim to safety.
Father God, we pray that we wont ever find ourselves in a situation such as this one. But if it happens, Lord, help us to remember that You are with us and will keep us safe. Help us stay calm in times of crisis, and to think clearly. Give us the supernatural strength to accomplish that tasks that would be set before us and help us that we would be able to save anyone else that is with us and under our care at that time. We plead the Psalm 91 hedge of protection upon us and we ask that You would send Your loving, kind heavenly angels to encamp round about us in a hedge of protection, that we would be spared from danger or injury. Give us the clarity of mind to get through an trial, Lord, blessing us with the gift of discernment that we would know how to act and act quickly, and the peace to endure and get through. We thank You Lord that You are always with us, never leaving or forsaking us. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, Amen.
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