Unless you have James Bond's car, landing your ride in the water is probably a nightmare scenario.


But it doesn't have to be. A sinking car is a highly survivable situation if you know what to do.



Cars actually take quite a bit of time to sink, so if you remain calm, it's not a big deal to get out.

You just have to remember four steps.




1. Seatbelts.

When you're ready to escape, unbuckle your seatbelt or, if it has jammed, cut it.




2. Children.

They can't help themselves, so make sure to free them once you're free of your seatbelt. They probably won't be able to get out their own windows, so keep them close, reassure them that the situation is under control, and let them know the plan.

Now it's time to actually get out and get everyone to safety...



3. Windows

The weight and pressure of the water outside will prevent you from opening the door, so you'll have to leave by the windows. But that same weight and pressure will be bearing down on the windows, too, making them nearly impossible to roll down. You'll have to break them.

That sounds easy enough, but your windows are designed not to break.



The windshield is not a viable option.

The safety glass will shatter, to be sure, but there's a sheet of plastic in there that sticks it together in case of a crash so that glass doesn't break off and fly around the car.

So those side windows are your best bet.



However, your side windows are tougher than they look.

They're made of tempered glass. Hit straight on, in the middle, they can withstand a considerable blow.

The tempered glass of the windows is more vulnerable at the edges

A good smack with something hard, maybe the metal ends of your seat's headrest, will shatter the window into a million tiny pieces.

Then the water will really start to rush in...

4. Out

This whole process can take less than 30 seconds, providing ample time to get yourself free without having to do much swimming. Just make sure everybody in the car is ready for the window to open and leaves by that one opening rather than trying to break more than one window.



Make sure everyone is accounted for and head for the shore.

If you get disoriented under water, follow the air bubbles escaping the car to the surface.

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