Nobody wants to think about getting into a car accident—especially one that involves water—but the truth is, the more you anticipate this type of situation, the better chance you have of surviving it. In this article, we’re going to discuss what to do if your car is underwater with you in it, as well as supplies to keep in your car just in case.
The Atomic Bear is the place to shop for your survival essentials. We bring you the gear you need to survive, from our S.W.A.T. Flashlight and S.W.A.T. Pen to the Arma’Garden Seed Pack and Cobra Survival Bracelet. Shop online from our onsite shop and receive your order in one to four days!
Here’s what you need to do if your car is underwater with you in it.
We know, it probably sounds easier said than done, but don’t panic! Remember your training. Take deep breaths. Get to work. By keeping a clear head, you’re going to have a much better chance of survival when dangerous situations happen. You should have a little bit of time to escape because your car can float for a few minutes after it makes impact.
Save your call to 911 for when you’re outside of your car. For one, the chances of them getting help to you before your car is submerged and you’ve drowned is slim. You are your own best chance of survival and every second counts, and people have died waiting for help when they could’ve been making their escape.
If your windows are above water, you need to rush to open them. Once you’re underwater, you won’t be able to open them anymore. If your windows are closed, the pressure of the water against the exterior of your vehicle is around 600 lbs per square inch, which you won’t be able to handle on your own. Open windows will relieve the pressure and allow you a better escape route.
The electricity in your car should last for a little while even if you’re submerged. Turn on your interior lights so you can see, should you be unable to escape before that happens. Secure a tough flashlight where you can easily reach it just in case—and we put emphasis on securing it because if it’s allowed to move around, when you make impact, the flashlight might fly to the back of the car where you can’t reach it.
This is where the part about not panicking comes in handy. Now you’re going to let the water flood your car, and you don’t want to consume precious oxygen, especially if you weren’t able to open your windows. Take slow, deep breaths, and get ready to escape. If you’re wearing a coat or heavy clothing, take it off so it doesn’t weigh you down. If you have kids with you, unbuckle them and prepare them for what’s to come.
Once the water has filled your car and the pressure is equalized inside and out, you will be able to safely break the window or open the door. Use your S.W.A.T. Pen to pierce the glass. Don’t go for the windshield because it’s super thick reinforced glass—instead, go for a side window, which is tempered and will shatter. If your window breaking pen isn’t in reach, you can remove the headrest of your seat and use the metal prongs to do it.
If the water you’re in is murky and you’re disoriented, you might not know up from down. This is why floating to the top is best. Your lungs are filled with air, and your body will naturally float upward. Hold onto children securely and do your best to keep them calm. If you’re not sure what way is up, let a few air bubbles escape your nose and see which way they go.
Get to land, find a stable surface, and make your call to 911 if your phone is still working. You will need to seek medical attention as quickly as possible, even if you have no visible injuries. If you can, flag down passing motorists.
We hope that this article has been helpful. For more survival training, check out the survivalist training page on our website!
For the best survival gear, shop The Atomic Bear. Keep our S.W.A.T. Flashlight, which is a tough self-defense light, and our S.W.A.T. Pen, which is a multi-use emergency car window breaker and self-defense pen, in your car at all times. And again, make sure they are secure and not able to freely move, so that you know they’re exactly where you need them when you need them.
Shop online at The Atomic Bear today!