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What To Do If You Drive Your Car Into a River

We realize that driving into a river is a rare thing, but it happens. We guess. From time to time.

So, in the off chance that you do find yourself in a situation where you find yourself in a river and in a car, then the following information from SmartDriving can help you out!

  • Release your seatbelts and open the windows – be aware that the seatbelts might not retract; take care not to get tangled
  • If your head restraints are removable, pull them out when you release your seatbelt to enable easy passage for rear passengers – you can also use the head restraints to smash the side windows if necessary
  • If your windows jam, try to break them. An ’emergency hammer’ is ideal; a steering wheel security lock will do; or kick hard.
  • You may be able to open a door, but if you can, it’s probably better to exit through a window
  • The car will sink ‘heavy end’ first (the heavy end is where the engine is). In deeper water it may flip onto its roof
  • In a car that sinks front first, there will be a bubble of air in the back, but you should stay in the front … the front windows are often bigger and easier to get out of — for all passengers
  • The car won’t sink immediately, even with the windows open, however you must use every moment to free yourself and passengers and get out. Push children out first
  • It may seem obvious – but don’t try to save anything except lives. Computers, phones, purses, jewellery, etc. can be replaced – you can’t!
  • If you are unable to open a window, there is the equalisation option as a last resort. Keep your head. There should be enough air for the minute or two that it will take to prepare to escape. When the car is nearly full of water, take a deep breath and push a door open, you may need to do this with your feet (for extra strength). Note the wait: If you try to open the doors too soon the water pressure will defeat you

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