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S.O.S. Car Sinking: Expert Tips to Stay Afloat

Picture yourself driving down a scenic route, windows down, music blaring, and the sun shining. Suddenly, without any warning, your car plunges into a body of water. Panic sets in, and your adrenaline spikes as you desperately try to find a way out. In situations like these, knowing what to do can mean the difference between life and death.

Car sinking incidents are rare, but they can happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 400 people die each year in the United States due to submerged vehicles. In this article, we will discuss expert tips to help you stay afloat should you find yourself in this situation.

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

The first and most important thing to do is to remain calm. Panicking will only make the situation worse, and it can impair your judgment. Assess the situation and try to determine the depth of the water, the angle of the car, and whether the windows are open or closed.

If the windows are closed, try to open them immediately. In most cases, the windows will still work for a few minutes after the car has submerged. If you can’t open the windows, you will need to break them. Use an object like a hammer, a screwdriver, or even your feet to break the window.

Unbuckle Your Seat Belt and Escape

Once you have a way out, unbuckle your seat belt and escape through the window as quickly as possible. Try to avoid the urge to grab personal belongings such as your phone or purse. Your first priority should be to get out of the car.

If you have children or passengers with you, help them escape first. If the water is deep, try to guide them to the surface if they are disoriented or panicking.

Use the Air Pocket

If you are unable to escape through the window or the doors, look for the air pocket. If you are lucky, you will find a pocket of air that will help you breathe until help arrives. The air pocket is typically located near the roof of the car. Hold your breath and swim to the top.

Break the Windshield

If you are unable to escape through the doors or the windows, your last resort is to break the windshield. The windshield is the strongest part of the car, and it may take several attempts to break it. Use a hard object like a hammer or a tire iron to break the glass. Once you have created a hole, climb out and swim to the surface.

Prevention is Key

The best way to survive a car sinking incident is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid driving in flood-prone areas
  • Stay up-to-date on weather alerts and warnings
  • Do not attempt to drive through water
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Keep a window-breaking tool in your car


  1. How long does it take for a car to sink in water?

    • It depends on several factors such as the weight of the car and the depth of the water. In most cases, a car will sink in 2-3 minutes.
  2. Can you open the doors of a submerged car?

    • In most cases, it is difficult to open the doors of a submerged car due to the water pressure. It is best to escape through the windows or break the windshield.
  3. What is an air pocket?

    • An air pocket is a small space within a submerged car that contains air, allowing you to breathe until help arrives.
  4. Can you use your phone to call for help in a submerged car?

    • No, your phone will not work once it is submerged in water.
  5. Is it possible to survive a car sinking incident?

    • Yes, it is possible to survive a car sinking incident if you remain calm and follow the expert tips mentioned in this article.


In conclusion, car sinking incidents are rare but can be deadly. The key to surviving this situation is to stay calm and follow the expert tips we’ve mentioned in this article. Prevention is also crucial, so always avoid driving in flood-prone areas, stay up-to-date on weather alerts, and keep a window-breaking tool in your car. Remember, being prepared can save your life.

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