How Can I Avoid Drowning in My Vehicle?

February 18, 2015

Did you know that Florida leads the nation in car accident drowning deaths?

It may sound strange to think about a car and drowning, however, it is not uncommon for motorists to be exposed to water if they are involved in a crash. Florida has plenty of roadside canals and bridges, as well as shoreline along its coastal areas.

Remember, last fall we reported in our blog that from 2008 to 2012, 49 people drowned inside vehicles in Florida. The next closest state was Texas with 18 deaths, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

We bring these numbers up because tragically, last month, a man was found dead inside his SUV after it fell into a retention pond in Orlando. According to, the man’s vehicle was found off Semoran Boulevard near Orlando International Airport. The accident remains under investigation.

Safety Tips to Avoid Drowning if Your Vehicle is Exposed to Water

Stay safe. If your vehicle is ever in the process of submerging in water, you may be able to avoid drowning by:

  • Quickly undoing your seatbelt
  • Having an object in your vehicle that can break a window
  • Attempting to roll down a window electronically or manually, and escaping
  • Attempting to move to the back of the vehicle, and escaping out of a rear window, if the above options are not viable

Keep in mind, it may be difficult to open a car door during a submersion situation, as the pressure from the water may make it very complicated. Additionally, if you do get a door open, the vehicle may take on more water, speeding up the submersion process.

Additionally, some safety experts advise against using your cell phone to contact emergency officials until after you have escaped a sinking vehicle. Using your phone while your car is submerging may waste precious time during an escape attempt.

Following Through by Contacting an Attorney

Remember, there are websites that sell emergency tools specially designed to break windows in a submersion accident. It may be wise to invest in one of these tools.

Additionally, if your loved one has been killed or you have been injured because of a vehicle accident, it may be in your best interest to have the case investigated by an attorney. Sometimes, submersion accidents are caused by reckless drivers on the road or by defective auto parts.

By working with an attorney through a lawsuit, you may be able to obtain damages for pain and suffering, as well as lost income if another party caused an accident.

Did You Know? It takes an estimated 60 to 120 seconds for a vehicle to fill up with water during a submersion event.


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