How Life Works

Feb 26, 2017
Updated: 2/19/2017

How to Survive If Your Car Plunges into a Lake or Ocean

How to Survive If Your Car Plunges into a Lake or Ocean

According to EMTP and StatGear CEO Avi Goldstein, every driver should be taught how to get out of a car when it becomes submerged in water.

“Accidents and natural disasters often occur so quickly that it’s essential for drivers to be prepared,” says Goldstein. “In this case, preparation is simply knowing what should be done before it happens.”

Goldstein offers the following lifesaving tips:

1. Try to stay calm. The worst thing you can do is become overly agitated and panicked.

2. Don’t try to open the door. This will cause the car fill with water very quickly.

3. Unfasten your seat belt or cut it if it’s jammed.

4. Help free anyone else in the car.

5. Use a window punch — preferably spring-loaded. It’s nearly impossible to break a car window with your hands or feet.

6. Exit through the broken window and swim up to safety.

“Every car should be equipped with a window punch and seat belt cutter, but they are usually completely forgotten by car owners,” says Goldstein.

For example, the T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool from StatGear features a 440c stainless steel serrated knife, seat belt cutter, spring-loaded window punch and LED light.

Goldstein asserts that the T3 or another similar tool should always be within arms length of a driver. “If for any reason a driver becomes pinned into his or her seat, emergency tools need to be within reach — otherwise they are useless. They will do you no good in your trunk or backseat.”

The following is a quick demonstration on how to escape a sinking car with a baby on board: