How to Escape from a Sinking Vehicle

In America every year close to 1000 people die by drowning in a submerged car.And don’t think you have to go suddenly skidding off the road and plunge into a river. Hundreds of people get in severe trouble and sometimes lose their lives trying to drive through flooded roads and highways, or over frozen lakes or ponds.

How to Escape from a Sinking Vehicle

Did you know that a car could sink in less than 30 seconds?

It is a crucial survival skill to know what to do in the event your vehicle hits the water. Your window will be your safest and easiest way to get out. If you can, and you know you are about to hit the water, roll down the driver’s side window. If you did not have time to do so, you will have to wait for the pressure to equalize.

By then, the power will probably be out. You will have to smash the window. That is why you need a “rescue tool.” I recommend an EMT or Fire Fight Utility Knife, which has a full knife blade, a Center Punch (to break the window), and a razor to cut your seatbelt, like the Tac Force Speedster EMT, which you can find on Amazon, or Ebay for under 20.00.

I cannot stress enough the importance of this inexpensive device. Car windows are made of tempered glass, they cannot be broken by kicking or punching, but they can be easily shattered with a pinpoint strike from a center punch tool.

Always go for the window and not the windshield. Windshields are not only tempered, but also lined with shatter-proof material.


  • Don’t bother turning your lights off. Turn them on if you are unable to escape or if the water is cloudy. The light’s electronics are usually waterproofed, and the lights themselves will help rescuers find your vehicle.
  • You can also use the metal part of the head rest to break the windows.
  • Your clothing and heavy objects in your pockets can make you sink. Be mentally prepared to kick off your shoes and remove heavy outer clothing such as jackets if necessary. The less clothing you have on the easier swimming will be. Even your jeans or pants will weigh you down significantly.
  • It can be difficult to direct other people in this situation. Be prepared and discuss the possibility before it happens. Focus on children first; adults will need to fend for themselves until the children have been helped, so don’t be distracted.
  • Keep the tools for escaping within the vehicle at all times. The emergency window breaking devices are available from safety stores.
  • If you ride regularly with people and drive by water, discuss what to do if the car goes into the water. Anticipation and planning are critical to surviving life threatening emergencies like this one. Teach all family members including children the S-C-W-O method:
  • Remove seatbelt
  • Free children
  • Open window
  • Get out.
  • Under certain circumstances pressure may not equalize until the entire cabin is flooded. In this situation, either fight the current or wait until the car is fully submerged before making your escape.


  • Don’t take anything heavy or unnecessary with you as you escape, and remember that everything is unnecessary in this situation except your life and the lives of those around you.
  • Under most circumstances you should not wait for help. Rescuers will most likely not be able to reach or locate you in time to provide support.

Stay safe,


Other useful resources:

Survival MD (Best Post SHTF Medical Survival Guide Ever)

Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness guide)

Backyard Innovator (All Year Round Source Of Fresh Meat,Vegetables And Clean Drinking Water)

Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )

Liberty Generator (Easy DIY to build your own off-grid free energy device)

Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)

Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )

Family Self Defense (Best Self Defense Strategies For You And Your Family)

Sold Out After Crisis (Best 37 Items To Hoard For A Long Term Crisis)

Copyright Information:This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

One Reply to “How to Escape from a Sinking Vehicle”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.