Q&A - Escaping From a Submerged Vehicle

submarineWhen younger, I learned how to drive on a standard and crank-by-hand windows. Flash ahead forty years, automation has taken over the vehicles. Purchased a newer vehicle in 2008 to travel around. It had all the buttons. Some buttons I did not feel comfortable for safety reasons such as the automatic locks and windows. As soon as the car travels it automatically locks the car which I immediately unlock in case I need to exit in a hurry. When travelling by a lake or gushing river I would push the button for the window to be down in case of an unfortunate accident.

I have heard so many people drowning in their vehicles lately, I am wondering if crank-by-hand window would have given them a fighting chance? Does the push button of window when vehicle immersed in water not operate to open the window? When the doors are locked, how does one get out when vehicle stops running? Are my instincts right about these safety issues? Should we be making vehicles with less automation for safety reasons?

It looks like as long as you are conscious and able to rescue yourself, you can get out even if your vehicle is only equipped with electric windows and door locks:

How to Escape from a Sinking Vehicle

Our very own Rick Mercer is involved in the investigation!

In reply to by DriveSmartBC

Glad to get an response and from Rick Mercer...thanks for the "plunge".

Dr. Popsicle even said on the video that you only have a few minutes to roll down the window or else it won't work. They were prepared ahead of time to know what was going to happen and what to do...seconds count. When in a real accident a person is in shock then tries to come to terms on what to do...seconds gone then minutes. As for the doors, Dr. Popsicle admits that the doors do not function.

I still think that automatic windows and doors pose safety issues. I like to get out of my vehicle when in an accident. Even on a road, I will unlock my doors (and the front can lock all four windows so the all the passengers have to rely on the driver to open). Will also roll the window down near bodies of water as when in an accident first come shock then realization then what to do...no time to think. No time to think where is that center punch or hope I can kick the window out.

I hope the car companies think about these issues and come up with solutions.

Depending on how you ended up in the river the car doors will unlock. If you smash up they unlock automaticly. Now if you crash a new Rav 4 and happen to be in the back seat your screwed untill the driver puts it in park as the doors will not unlock unless it's in park. The windows don't go all the way down. The best bet when a car hits water is to get out as fast as you can. you can also get a seat belt and glass break tool to have inside your car if you get trapped. Some even clip onto the seat belt grab cut smash get out. sometimes in a cash the seat belt will jam and be locked in and hard to get out of.