How to Get Out of a Car When Trapped

Getting trapped in a vehicle is a scary ordeal. If we are being honest, most people only think of being trapped in a vehicle when they see situations on TV – maybe a dramatic kidnapping on a show or a vehicle being submerged after a storm.

There are many ways that a person could find themselves trapped inside their vehicle. Today, we want to talk about what you can do it you become trapped inside based on various scenarios. One of the number one things to keep in mind in all of these situations is to not panic. By remaining calm, you are giving yourself the best chance of getting out of your vehicle safely.

Trapped while on dry land

The most common scenario for a person getting trapped on dry land is in the aftermath of a vehicle crash. In these instances, doors can become jammed. This is particularly common in rollover crashes. First, please know that by moving around, you could exasperate any injuries you have. If you are not seriously hurt, remain calm.

  • Call 911 if you have access to a phone. If you have OnStar of hand-free calling capabilities, that is a plus for situations where you can’t reach your phone.

Emergency responders have the tools needed to get you out of the vehicle. If there is no pending emergency, like a fire or explosion hazard, you should stay put in your vehicle and let first responders help.

If you are trapped in water

This can be terrifying and, if your vehicle is sinking and filling with water, you need to find a way out. Again, staying calm offers you the best chance of survival. If you have time to dial 911, do so immediately and give the dispatcher as much information as possible. In many submerged vehicle incidents, there is no time to call 911. If your car is sinking in water, you need to:

  • Unbuckle your seatbelt and any passengers’ seatbelts.
  • Do not open the doors even if you can. This will cause a rush of water, making the vehicle sink faster.
  • Roll down the windows if you can are able to as soon as possible. This is your route out of the vehicle.

If the water has reached the windows, you will likely not be able to roll them down due to the water pressure and electrical failure. Do you have a tool designed specifically to break a vehicle window? If so, you will use this to break the window and escape. If not, find anything heavy and preferably with a pointy end to break the window. Always break a side window, as they will completely shatter and allow for an escape.

If the car sinks quickly or is completely submerged

If you cannot break the window or if the car sinks quickly, you are going to have to wait for the vehicle to completely fill with water until the pressure on the inside and outside of the vehicle equalizes. Once the pressure equalizes, you will be able to open the door. This will be scary and require you to hold your breath, but this is the last resort and will save your life.

Stay calm and save lives

If you stay calm, your chances of getting out of your vehicle increase. Staying calm will also help others in your vehicle remain calm. If you are trapped with children, they will be scared. Seeing you calm will help them get through an entrapment situation as well.

Contact our Nashville car accident attorneys today.