Driving your vehicle into a lake or ocean is something straight out of a nightmare. Fortunately, the situation doesn’t need to be as grim as you’d imagine. Follow these tips and you can make it through the situation as safely as possible.
1.Get Out of the Car
It’s a common misconception that you should stay in a sinking vehicle to save your air. By staying put, you actually increase your chance of drowning.
Once you hit the water, you need to find a way out of your car. First, you need to remove your seatbelt. Try to unfasten it. If you can’t, use something sharp to cut it. Once your seatbelt is off, you need an escape route. Try opening your doors and windows. If necessary, use something hard to break your window glass.
When you’re alone in a sinking vehicle, you can get to safety. But if there are others in the car, you need to remove their belts. If you have multiple children, get them out from oldest to youngest. The oldest might be able to help you get the others to safety. Get everyone out of the vehicle and out of the water as quickly as possible.
2. Have a Plan
Being prepared makes all the difference. You plan for disasters like hurricanes and fires, so why not prepare for a sinking vehicle?
Unlike a fire drill, this drill is harder to practice. Rather than act out the situation, discuss it. Talk to your family about what they need to do if you drive into a body of water.
You can also keep a glass breaking tool and something to cut seatbelts in your vehicle. In fact, you can attach an automobile escape tool to your keychain. They typically include a window breaking tool and a seatbelt cutter.
Another way to plan is to take a CPR class. By learning CPR, you can know how to resuscitate a passenger who stops breathing. Whether or not your drive into water, knowing CPR can be useful.
3. Call Emergency Services
Immediately after you and your passengers escape to safety, call 911. Even if no one seems injured, you need medical assistance. This is for two reasons. First, you or your passengers could have hidden injuries. In children, secondary drowning is a major concern. Only a medical expert can determine whether you or your loved ones have injuries.
Secondly, you need to get get a police report. When the police arrive, they will write up an accident report. The report can help you with the insurance claim or a lawsuit against another driver.
4. Call a Lawyer
One of the most common mistakes that car accident victims make is failing to call a lawyer. A lawyer can help you handle the situation and prevents you from incriminating yourself. When you drive into a body of water, a lawyer is particularly helpful.
Whether or not you were under the influence at the time of your accident, you could be in for trouble. Driving into a body water is not a simple accident. Typically, it involves injuries, property damage, and more. The police will not take the matter lightly.
A car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help you handle the situation. After everyone is safe and emergency services are on the way, contact your lawyer for advice. He can tell you the next steps, and might be able to limit the consequences of your accident.