Up next in Driving & Car Safety (28 videos)
Stay safe on the road with the important information in this car and driver video series.
You Will Need
- Glass-breaking tool
Stem panic by reminding yourself that your car will usually float for a minute or two before it begins to sink. Use this time to unfasten your seat belt, open the driver-side window or a sunroof, and unlock the doors.
Break the window
If you were unable to open your side window, break it with your elbow, heels, or -- better still -- anything pointy you have on hand, like a pen or screwdriver. Aim for the center of the window. Don’t bother with the windshield; it's made to be unbreakable.
If the car is sinking slowly, take off your shoes. If you’re wearing jeans and you have time, remove those as well. Both weigh you down, making swimming to the surface more difficult.
Climb out the window before the car becomes submerged, and swim to the surface.
Wait until car fills
If you were unable to get out through the window, don’t panic! Let the car fill with water, knowing that once it does, the water pressure inside and out will be equalized, allowing you to open the door and escape.
Open the door
When the water reaches your chin, take a deep breath and hold it. Then open the door and swim out headfirst. If you’re not sure which way is up, look for bubbles and swim in the direction in which they’re rising.