What to do if you are trapped in a sinking car

skip to main content

What to do if you are trapped in a sinking car

sinking car

While sinking car incidents are less common than road accidents, they are not unheard of. With a short response time window, it is crucial to be aware of the steps to escape the situation when you get caught in one. Check out these lifesaving tips that could help you conserve energy and stay focused on escaping a car within the first two minutes it starts sinking. 

  1. Stay calm

    Don’t call for help until you’re out of the vehicle. Every second is crucial and should be spent escaping because a car will float for 30 to 120 seconds before sinking.

  2. Free yourself

    Release your seat belt and remove any item that may weigh you down, such as your jacket, to help you move inside the car and swim with ease.

  3. Roll down or break the windows, and get out.

    Electric windows should work within the first minute of the sinking. As time passes, water pressure will make it impossible to unwind the windows. If that happens, break the side window with any hard or sharp object and climb out as quickly as possible.

  4. Children first.

    If you are travelling with children, free the eldest child first and push them out of the window so the eldest child can help the younger ones.

    Remember, help them after you have unfastened your seat belt and unwound the window on your side. 

  5. Swim to safety

    Push off the car and swim to the surface. Look for bubbles and follow their directions to know which way is up in case of disorientation.


  • Foster Wallace
  • Royal Life Saving WA
  • ABC News
Contact us
Contact us

Have a question or need more information?

Contact us to find out how we can help you get covered against potential risks