Sadly, 300 people a year drown to death in their own car or truck in the U.S. alone. The third leading cause of death in Palm Beach County Florida is drowning in motor vehicles after crashing into a canal. In Florida, this happens to drivers that fall asleep behind the wheel and drift off the road or get hit by another car or truck. It only takes 6 inches to 2 feet of water to cause a vehicle to float off its wheels. And most cars can only stay afloat between 30 seconds and 4 minutes. Often electricity shorts out immediately after hitting the water.

Florida’s most dangerous drownings occurs if a car goes nose down into a canal. The increased pressure on the doors make them impossible to open. Once the electricity goes off, panic sets in causing the occupants to consume more oxygen. Often they lose consciousness; making an escape unlikely.

Our Coral Gables PI law firm is committed to driver safety and the prevention of drowning injuries and deaths. We urge every vehicle owner to purchase an escape tool that can quickly punch out a window and cut a seat-belt. These tools can save your life by allowing you to escape from a sinking vehicle.

As a Doral car accident lawyer I strongly recommend LifeHammer which can be purchased at hardware stores and on Amazon for less than $15.00. What is great about the Lifehammer is comes with a mounting bracket to keep it in place within your vehicle’s console until needed. I am not sure why these types of devices are not required in all vehicles as they can save lives.

Here are 5 ways you can save your own life if your car or truck gets submerged in a Florida canal or flood.

1. Keep several escape tools in the car and one in the glove box. They can be hard to find in a panic situation.

2. Release your seat-belt immediately.

3. Open your window. You may have to wait until the car fills up with water to equalize the pressure inside the vehicle so you can release the door.

3. Keep your hand on the door handle at all times and keep trying to open it.

4. Escape together. Once the door opens; all passengers should hold hands and escape together.

5. Rehearse the escape drill with family and children before leaving on a trip.

Remember the primary goal in the event you find yourself in a sinking vehicle is to get yourself and your passengers out as quickly as possible. Under no circumstances should you sit and wait with the hope that help in on the way.