How to escape from a sinking car
It’s a situation you never think you’ll be in — but one local responders say you need to plan for.
If you drove into a body of water and car was slowly sinking — do you know what to do?
The fire department says the first step is to take a deep breath and stay calm.
You have about 50 seconds to get out before the car fully goes down under.
Use that time to unbuckle yourself— roll the window down and get out.
Officials say the windows will still work for a little bit in the water. If you can’t roll them down— punch them out. Officials say to keep gadgets in your car to help you
Whatever you do don’t punch out the windshield, cars tend to fill up front-heavy with the weight of the engine and taking out the windshield could flood your car fast.
Collier County Sheriff’s Office says to remember these four life saving steps:
Never sit in the car and just wait. If you follow these steps, you should be able to escape the car before it starts to sink. It takes a car 2-3 minutes to sink, depending on the car.
Consider buying glass-breaking tools. You can carry a small hammer or center punch, which you can use to shatter glass. A center punch looks like an ink pen and can be found in any hardware store. The idea is to try to exert force on the glass at one small point location. We recommend at the bottom or a corner edge of a window. If you break the center of the glass, you could cut yourself. Never try to break the windshield or the car’s back window: They will never break. Always try to break a side window. Anyone can break the window with the punch. The automatic center punch does not require a lot of strength. A child can use it successfully. You can also use a Philips head screwdriver.
As long as the keys are in the ignition of a car, the electric windows should work. Even when a car sinks to the bottom of a body of water, the electrical system will still work for awhile.
Do all cars sink? Yes, all cars sink, but they sink at different rates. A Volkswagen Beetle once floated for almost 15 minutes.
If you are in the car with children, first free yourself from your seat belt, then open a window, then free the kids’ seat belts and push them out the window first.