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How to Escape a Sinking Car

1. Remain calm. Your chances are good.

2. Get out quickly! Unfasten your seat belt immediately. This is the
major reason victims don’t survive. Get the window or door opened asap.

3. The window is your friend. Electric windows? Keep a screwdriver or
hammer in your glove box, or drive with your window cracked when
crossing a body of water. You can even buy a handy device called the
Window Punch.

Don’t bother with trying to break your windshield - it’s virtually
impossible. Once your window is down/broken, water will flood in - don’t
panic! Water inside the car is your friend (this reduces pressure and
actually makes it easier to escape). Take a series of three giant breaths
to relax your body and expand your chest, then take a final gulp before
going for the glass.

4. If you can’t break your windows, climb into the back seat. The
front of the car sinks first, so air will remain trapped in the back of the
car for a few more precious seconds as you work to open a window.

5. Once the glass is open/broken, keep your head above water for
as long as possible!

6. Escape through a window or open the door as soon as you can.
In your panic, you may think you can’t open the door when it’s simply
locked, so make sure to unlock the door immediately!

7. Swim to the surface as quickly as possible. Push off the car and
swim to the surface. If you don’t know which way to swim, look for light
and swim toward it or follow any bubbles you see as they will be going
up, or allow yourself to float for a moment. You will eventually start to
float towards the surface. Be aware of your surroundings as you swim
and surface. Use them for leveraging if you can.

8. Get medical attention as soon as possible. The adrenaline in your
bloodstream after the escape may make you unable to immediately
detect any other injuries you may have sustained in the accident.

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