Superhero Car Skills: How to Survive a Submerged Car
For most of us, an immersed car is something we’re only ever going to see on TV. But since knowing how to escape a submerged car is kind of like having a superhero skill tucked into your back pocket, it’s worth taking a moment to learn (sans water of course.) Since immersed cars account for more in-car fatalities than you’d probably imagine, it’s also just good common sense to have. Lucky us, Mythbusters covered this very dilemma in Episode 72: Underwater Car.
In short, if you find yourself in a sinking car:
Option 1: Open your car door immediately. If there isn’t enough pressure created by the surrounding water, you’ve got a chance at getting it open.
Option 2: Breaking or opening windows is unlikely, but if you’ve got a center punch or window breaking hammer handy it could be possible. Since car windows are tempered, don’t waste energy trying to break the glass otherwise. And that little thing called pressure will keep you from rolling windows down whether manually cranked or electric powered.
Option 3: In the trauma of smashing into water in a car, you failed to execute Option 1 and now there’s no budging it due to the surrounding pressure of water. Stay calm and conserve oxygen, because you’ll need it in order to wait until the interior of the car is nearly full of water. At this point, the pressure differential inside and outside the car will have evened out and the door should open easily.
Sound easy enough?! Fingers crossed you’ll never need to use this info, but if you do escape a submerged car successfully you should definitely take up racing because luck is on your side!