Escaping From A Submerged Vehicle

Living in Florida, it’s not uncommon to hear about a vehicle going into a body of water. In some cases, good Samaritans or quick thinking can save the day. But many other times, an accident involving a submerged vehicle ends in serious injuries or death. While we often consider other aspects of driving safety, such as speed limits or the dangers of texting and driving, escaping from a submerged vehicle is not something people often ponder. But if you ever find yourself in this scary situation, knowing what to do could save your life.

How To Escape A Submerged Vehicle

If you can open your window before the car is fully submerged, you should immediately do so. If you can, open your windows before the power in the car is shorted. Otherwise, you will be unable to open your window. For some cars, the period between submersion and power shortage is around three minutes. Even so, get the window open as soon as possible. If you cannot get the window open, you may have to break it. There are tools that you can keep in your car for this. Keep them close to you, where you can reach them if need be.

Once you have the window open or broken, you should get out of the car as soon as possible. Help any children out of the car first, and then yourself. If you are disoriented and cannot find the surface, follow the trail of bubbles rising from the car.

Act Quickly

It is also possible to wait until the car is fully submerged, and then try to push the door open. While the car is going underwater, it will be incredibly difficult to open the door, but underwater, the pressure becomes equalized, allowing you to push open the door. In this scenario, however, you must wait until the car is underwater, which decreases your chance of survival. Opening or breaking a window is still your best option.

Having to think about escaping from a submerged car is very scary, and this is hopefully not a scenario that you ever experience. But it is good to know the safety procedures, because in the event of a submerged car accident, staying calm is your best bet, and knowing what to do can take away some of the stress and panic.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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