What Should You Do if Trapped in Your Car After a Crash?

tips if trapped in car after crashIt’s scary to think that there is even the possibility that you may one day be in a car crash, but with 19,349 crashes already this year, the risk is unfortunately out there. And with the possibility of an auto accident, comes the prospect that you could be trapped inside your car, a terrifying thought indeed.

While the thought of this can be overwhelming, I want to be able to provide you with some resources and tips if such a situation ever arises. Here are the most important things to remember:

  • Don’t panic. I know that’s going to be tough, but the calmer you can remain, the easier it will be for you to possible extricate yourself from the situation.
  • Look for witnesses. If you see witnesses, most likely they will be calling 911. However, if you don’t see anyone, try to locate your cell phone safely and make the call. If your vehicle has On Star emergency or hands-free calling, this may be easier.
  • Unbuckle your seatbelt. Experts recommend that you remove your seatbelt as this allows freedom of movement and makes you more comfortable. If you need to, make sure you brace yourself if you will fall out of your seat. You can do so by placing your arm or elbow against the roof of the car and help protect your head from taking the full force of the fall.
  • If you end up in water, try to roll down your windows before the car’s electricity no longer works. Then you should be able to exit and swim to safety. However, if your vehicle sinks quickly, you most likely won’t be able to roll the windows down right away. In this instance, wait for the water pressure inside the vehicle to become equal to the pressure outside. That means to wait until the car is more submerged. Safety and rescue experts recommend that you start rolling down the window when the water is about halfway up the glass, or about shoulder level.   I know that’s scary, but did you know that water rushing against a vehicle weighs thousands of pounds? You can’t fight that, and attempting to open a door or window will just waste valuable time and energy with that kind of pressure. Plus, if you even succeed in opening a window, the water will just rush in and could push you away, or even pin you under your dash. 
  • Make sure your car is equipped with an emergency kit. This should include things like a first aid kit, water, flashlight, and blanket. The emergency kit can be helpful in many different situations, not just in these circumstances.

Hopefully, by taking the initiative to pre-plan for such an unfortunate incident and by using your common sense, you will be able to remain calm in a situation where you are trapped in your car. We certainly hope this never happens to you, but being prepared and in the right mindset will serve you in the end.

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