If you're ever involved in a collision and your vehicle ends up submerged in water, knowing how to safely escape the vehicle is crucial.
The following tips can help:
- Wear your seatbelt every time you ride in a vehicle. It could prevent an injury or save your life during a crash. It could also prevent you from hitting your head on impact and being knocked out. You won't be able to take any action if you're unconscious.
- Vehicles go through 3 phases after contacting the water:
- Floating - the vehicle will float until the water reaches the bottom of the side windows. This is the best time to escape the vehicle.
- Sinking - the vehicle will start to sink once water rises above the bottom of the side windows
- Submerged - this is when the vehicle is almost, or completely, filled with water
- Seatbelts - unfasten your seatbelt first
- Windows - open windows or break open windows
- Children - release children from restraints and bring them close to an adult who can help them
- Out - get children out of the window first, and immediately follow them
Source: Operation ALIVE (Automobile Submersion: Lessons in Vehicle Escape) by G.G. Giesbrecht and G.K. McDonald, University of Manitoba.