Although the accidents can happen any time of the year, knowing how to escape from a sinking car can be particularly important during the summer months, when millions of folks across the country are headed to lakes, rivers and oceans to enjoy their vacation fun. Which is why Autobytel.com recently turned to Gerald M. Dworkin, a national expert on Aquatics Safety & Water Rescue for Lifesaving Resources, to get some tips on how to escape from a sinking car for our readers.
First off, Dworkin notes that this is no small concern. Some 400-600 fatalities occur each year as the result of vehicles being submerged in water—more than drown each year in swimming pools. Further, he also warns of an unintended consequence of recent changes to federal safety guidelines, originally meant to protect occupants from being ejected from a vehicle during a crash.
According to Dworkin: "As a result, many manufacturers are now building vehicles with laminated, rather than tempered, side-door windows. This is going to prevent occupant escape during a submerged-vehicle incident and also will delay the first responders' ability to access the inside of the vehicles. This means that although the number of incidents will not be impacted, the number of fatalities each year will certainly increase."
That being said, learning how to escape from a sinking car starts with being prepared in advance.