How to Escape a Sinking Car: 4 Simple Steps – Every year, as many as 400 people drown in vehicles.
The following are the action points from Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht* on how to save yourself and your children should your car end up in a canal or river:
If you are not able to open the windows, Dr. Giesbrecht recommends to carry a simple window-breaking device in your vehicle (ResQme). The tool, a spring-loaded center punch, is pressed into a corner of the window. One or two simple pushes and the window shatters. Giesbrecht recommends the devices be easily accessible and in the open, perhaps hanging from the rear view mirror.
Car manufacturers are installing much stronger laminated glass, not just on the front windshield, but on every window in the vehicle, so the ResQme and other tools may not work appropriately, so please check with the manufacture of vehicle.
LAMINATED vs. TEMPERED WINDOW GLASS
• Hammer-type devices and spring-loaded window punches are NOT effective on laminated glass. Most front car windshields are made of laminated glass.
• If glass is tempered, use an escape tool in a bottom corner of a side window for breakage.
• Check your vehicle’s manual or contact your car’s manufacturer to determine vehicle’s glass type.
*Dr. Gordon Giesbrecth,
Associate Dean (External Relations)
Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management
University of Manitoba – Canada
An internationally known expert on cold-water survival, submerge vehicle protocols and safety.
Dr. Giesbrecht operates the Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Medicine where he studies human responses to exercise/work in extreme environments. He has conducted hundreds of cold-water immersion studies that have provided valuable information about cold stress physiology and pre-hospital care for human hypothermia. His recent work on Operation ALIVE (Automobile submersion: Lessons in Vehicle Escape) involving vehicle submersions with volunteers in them, provide the basis for new escape and emergency response strategies. He has conducted 100+ submerged vehicles demonstration.
What to Do: Car Sinking in Water, Only Second to React
ABC Nightline - What if you had 30 seconds to save your life?
Escape sinking car: two people and baby – Collier County Sheriff’s Office
Multiple scenarios were presented in which a vehicle was submerged in the canal with members of the CCSO dive team inside. During each scenario, Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht gave a minute-by-minute account of what happens to the body and strategies for survival.
The following are the action points from Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht on how to save yourself and your children should your car end up in a canal or river:
Special thanks to the following people and agencies for making this life saving workshop possible: