A vehicle is traveling along and all of a sudden, it abruptly veers off the road and plunges front-first into a body of water. It quickly becomes submerged with its frantic driver and passengers inside, all of them in shock yet struggling to escape.
This scenario can happen to anybody for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the street was icy or rain-slicked. Possibly the visibility was poor due to foggy conditions or heavily falling snow. There can be inadequate lighting on a road. The driver could have been unaware of the water so close by, was traveling at an excessive speed, got sideswiped by another vehicle or was distracted for a moment.
Whatever the cause of the accident and whether it took place in California or elsewhere, one message is crucial. You must know exactly what to do in this situation and act fast. Your life and the lives of those in the vehicle depend on it. This type of water-related vehicle accident takes the lives of 400 people annually in North America.
What to do to get out of a submerged vehicle quickly
- Don’t spend precious time reaching for your cellphone to call a friend, the fire department or 9-1-1. Use every moment to immediately extricate yourself and your passengers.
- Unfasten your seat belt, get out through the window and try to make it onto the roof of the vehicle. According to one expert, electric car windows can still be rolled down after the car goes into the water.
- If there are any children in the car, help them first by undoing their seat belts if they are in the back seat, yanking them into the front and getting them out of your rolled-down window. Take care of older kids first.
- Have a tool with you in the car to shatter a window if you need to.
- Refrain from opening the door. It will cause the vehicle to sink rapidly.
An experienced attorney can be a good source of information regarding motor vehicle accidents.