Worst-Case Wednesday: How To Survive a Sinking Car

Posted by Jade Gilmartin

Image via She Knows (who also have great tips!)

When you are watching an action movie and you see the car speeding towards the edge of a cliff before hurtling down in to water, it always seems to go through your mind…what would I do? You weigh up the options before promising yourself never to go anywhere near a cliff or water in a car.

But what if you were in this situation, what would be the most sensible thing to do? Taken from the Worst Case Scenario: Book of Survival Questions, the options are:

a) Roll all your windows up.

b) Roll one window down.

c) Unfasten your seatbelt.

d) Turn off your motor.

The correct answer is: Roll one window down. As soon as the car sinks into the water, the outside water pressure will prevent you from opening the door. Opening the window serves two purposes. First, it allows you to get out of the car without opening the door.

Second, if you cannot get out through the window, it allows water to enter the car and equalize the pressure so you can open the door and escape.

Expert Tip: Most cars will sink at a steep angle, because they are heavier in the front, where the engine is. In water deeper than 15 feet, the car may end up on its roof.

So that is the answer and although it may not be the first thing you’d think to do, it sounds like a good idea. So if you do ever find yourself flying through the air in a car, approaching water, remember just one thing, roll one window down.