It’s summer once again and what fitting way to enjoy this season is to go on a road trip with friends, swim and party on a beach and eat a whole lot of tropical fruits that are on limited availability such as watermelons, mangoes and many more.
However, despite being extremely cautious and practicing safety during these moments, other persons’ or group of individuals might affect your situation in a tragic manner.
For example, you are driving at a bridge when in your opposite lane, a truck driver decided to overtake and cause you to swerve the steering wheel to the right and you end up at the river. If this is the case what would you do?
Swimming is one of the many survival skills every Filipino should master or at least learn
Before delving into and knowing the answer, did you know that swimming is one of the many survival skills every Filipino should master or at least learn? In a recent study, thousands of Filipino lives could be saved if only the basic knowledge of swimming was taught.
This dreadful fact alone pushed one legislator to pursue the “Drowning Prevention Act” wherein swimming should be included as a part of the K-12 curriculum in the Philippines. But, legislation alone is not enough, personal willingness should be considered.
In light of this matter, Philkotse.com will discuss the tips on how you and your friends and family can survive a sinking car.
Step #1: Unfasten seatbelt
Warning! Rescuers would always stress that given the weight of the vehicle and the pressure of the water surrounding you, it would only take a minute or two before you are entirely safe from the wrath of sinking. Therefore, you have to get rid of everything that may hinder your movement, specifically your seatbelt.
After unfastening your belt, lower your window. We would emphasize that your window is the best option to escape this situation. If you have a manual window, quickly roll it down so you can swim out of the vehicle.
If you own a high-end vehicle or the ones with the latest technology, chances are you’ll rely on the electronic transmission so that you can lower your window. The good thing is, it was proven in a study that isn’t completely lights-out until the car is submerged into the water for 10 minutes.
In this phase, it is crucial to remember the sequence, “unfasten seatbelt, and then lower the window.” It is also important to note that it only takes a minute before your vehicle drags you down entirely underwater. Until that happens, it is essential that you cut your seatbelt loose so you can swim to safety.
You have to get rid of everything that may hinder your movement, specifically your seatbelt
>>> Worth to keep in mind: 8 steps to do when your car gets flooded in the Philippines.
Step #2: Break your vehicle’s window
There are cases when the rotational mechanism of your window gets lodged and will get you into panic mode. Or, the power goes out, and you can't access your window controls anymore. If this is the case, gather up all your strength and break the window.
Another emphasis on this note, do not attempt to break the windshield of your car. It is made to be stronger than your window. Do not follow what you see in Hollywood. Going for the window is a safer option than your windshield.
If you feel like you are losing your strength while trying to break the glass, try to find a heavy object in your car or in your compartment that you can utilize to break it. Also, if you want to break the window faster, try aiming at any of the 4 corners where vulnerability is at its highest.
Try to find a heavy object in your car or in your compartment that you can utilize to break the window
>>> Remember to prepare: 8 must-have items for your car emergency kit.
Step #3: Escape through the door
In some of the most unfortunate cases, you’ll be put to the test. If you can’t break the window despite different strategies, the only route to take is through the car’s door.
But, you can’t just open your car door like it was a piece of cake. To open the car’s door, you’ll have to wait until the vehicle is filled with water. Why? The pressure bottled inside the vehicle will equal the water's pressure from the outside.
This will be crucial for your escape. Make sure to keep a tight grip on your door’s handle and push it with all of the remaining force in your body. However, make sure to grasp enough oxygen before submerging yourself in the water and making a bold escape.
As a tip from all survival experts everywhere, you can always use your feet as a tool to ensure that you’re using enough force to open your car’s door. Once you swam your way out of the vehicle, you can navigate yourself to the surface by following a string of bubbles that are rising from the area to which your car is submerged.
Make sure to grasp enough oxygen before submerging yourself in the water and making a bold escape
Tips to remember
Here are tips you need to remember when you are facing such grave danger. Remember, these accidents are inevitable, and the only thing you can do is to prepare yourself for the worst case scenarios.
- Hide a Swiss or Army knife in your compartment for cases that you cannot remove your seatbelt. The first step in surviving these scenarios lies in mobility and a keen awareness of time and surroundings.
- The timeframe in surviving a sinking car is between 30-120 seconds. The moment your vehicle lands on a body of water, remove your seatbelt immediately and break a window. Do not wait for the door equalizing option wherein you’re left to inhale the remaining patch of oxygen to make an escape.
- If there are kids inside the vehicle, loosen their seatbelts first. The same goes for a pregnant woman and the elderly.
- Do not panic! The last enemy you need to conquer is your own fear. Don’t let it hinder your decision-making capacity especially that you are battling against time itself.
The first step in surviving these scenarios lies in mobility and a keen awareness of time and surroundings
In conclusion, one needs to be quick, strong and resourceful to survive a sinking vehicle. The process will always be easy if you have only yourself to deal with. However, you can save everyone inside the car if you act fast enough and remember the sequence, "remove seatbelt, break a window and swim to the surface.”
>>> Read more safe driving tips on Philkotse.com.
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