Imagine your car getting out of control and heading off the bridge into a deep large body of water. This is obviously a frightful experience that any driver would rather not want to undergo. But it’s very important to know what to do should you find yourself in this situation. Reaction time and speed are key for survival. A sinking car will not immediately submerge, which means there is a small window of opportunity to react. So what’s the first step to take?

Don’t try to open the door! water pressure makes this extremely difficult to do. And even if you could open the door, this would allow for even more water to come in and make your car sink faster. Instead, quickly roll down your side window, unbuckle yourself, and climb out. If you are too slow to react, the water pressure can pin your doors and windows shut.

This means you will have to break a window. Don’t try to break the windshield as it’s built to resist impacts. Instead, go for the side windows. Use your foot or feet to kick at the top of the window or remove the headrest from your seat. Alternatively, you can use any hard objects within your reach.

Once you’re out of the car, take a deep breathe and let your body take you to the surface. Don’t worry about going up or down. Relax and allow yourself float, you will get to the surface. All this should take about 30 seconds. The video below visually illustrates this further.