Underwater Emergencies in Car Accidents

Florida has many miles of coastline as well as rivers and lakes. While this adds to the natural beauty of Hollywood, Miami Beach, and surrounding areas, it can also pose an added risk to drivers. If you’re in a car accident and find your car in the water and sinking, you will need to act fast to stay safe.


Here’s how:

  • Be prepared ahead of time: You can buy a key chain with a special tool for cutting through seat belts and for smashing car windows. This escape tool can help you get out of a car, especially when seconds count, such as when your car is sinking.
  • Stay calm: Panic can use up oxygen and can make you freeze, which means you waste precious time. Unlike a car collision on land, ending up in the water means you only have a short period of time to act. Staying calm can help you get to safety.
  • Use your seconds well: The average vehicle will float for as few at 30 or as many as 120 seconds before sinking. This is your best chance to get out safely. Don’t squander this time by calling for help. Focus on getting out of the car and out of the water and then getting help.
  • Free yourself: Start by removing your seat belt and removing any heavy items that can keep you from swimming safely.
  • Keep your door closed: Break or roll down your window instead of opening the door. Water pressure will make it hard to open your door, which means you may waste precious time and energy struggling with the door. If you do open the door, your car will sink faster, too, so escape through the window.
  • Get out first: Get out of the car as soon as possible. If you have vulnerable people or children in the car, help them next. Start with the most physically able person or oldest child first, since they can potentially help you free anyone else stuck in the car. Do not stop to get any personal items, even your cell phone. Seconds count, so focus on getting out and away from the car.
  • Swim: Once you’re out of the car, swim to safety by swimming to the surface and to shore or to something solid you can hold onto. If you’re underwater and aren’t sure which way is up, the bubbles coming from your nose and mouth can direct you up. Just follow them. Assist anyone with you in getting to the surface.
  • Call for help: Once you are at the surface of the water, flag down others or call for help. If you’re in an isolated area, try to find shelter or warmth and continue to call for help.

If you’re injured in a car accident and think your car manufacturer or another party may be at fault, phone Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online to schedule your free, no obligation consultation with an attorney. Our team has more than 60 years of combined experience and a network of investigators and expert witnesses to gather evidence in your case and establish liable parties so you can get the compensation you deserve.

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