Cases of cars being swept away are common after the summer, when many places experience torrential rains, flooding and the inevitable accidents that occur at the edge of rivers and torrents. In this scenario, it is not uncommon for a vehicle and its occupants to sink within seconds. It is a very dangerous situation; however, survival can be guaranteed if you act quickly. This is what you should do.
1. If you fall into the water from a certain height, it is important to minimize the impact by placing your hands on the sides of the steering wheel (in the 9.15 position). That way, if the air bag goes off, his arms won’t hit your face.
two. You have to try to stay calm and not succumb to panic, which blocks you mentally, exhausts you quickly and consumes a lot of oxygen. It’s best to think calmly about what to do, remember the next steps and get out of the car as soon as possible; ideally within the first 30 or 60 seconds as they are crucial.
3. The vehicle usually takes a few moments before sinking (between 30 seconds and 2 minutes). You should take advantage of this time to unbuckle your seatbelt and make sure other passengers do the same. If there are children, it is best to untie the adults first so they can help and move the children to the front.
Four. If it’s still possible, the best course of action is to open the door to get out. However, you shouldn’t try this if the car is already half submerged: the water pressure will prevent it.
5. Open the windows as soon as you can, so that the water can slowly enter. If they are electric, the mechanism will continue to work for about three minutes after the car is in the water. If they no longer work, you will have to break them with a blunt object (a small emergency hammer with a special blade for cutting belts should be kept in the glove compartment). They can also be broken by extending your legs and hitting the center of the glass very hard with both feet. Don’t go for the windshield, because it is much harder than the side windows. If this cannot be achieved, then wait for the car to fill with water to equalize the pressure; then you can open the doors.
6. When you open them you will have to use your strength, because the water can offer some resistance. Inhale, help the children to get out first and swim towards the surface, always following the bubbles to guide you. It is also advisable to remove your shoes and any outerwear that may prevent you from swimming freely.
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