This is a sad story. Tragic, really. Have you read about it yet? It's not new, but, in fact, is fairly common: someone loses control of his vehicle at just the
I want to add a brief commentary based on some training I've had so in case this happens to you, God forbid, then you hopefully won't be the next victim of a similar story.
1) It perplexes me that the first thought of the driver or any occupants in these kinds of crashes go first to their cell phones. I'm honored that most people feel they can trust and depend upon first responders to rescue them from danger. However, most times the best protection from danger is found between your own ears. God gave it to us for a reason; don't be afraid to use it. Instead of calling 9-1-1 in those few minutes above water, please put the following steps into place to get out of the car! Once out, THEN you can call 9-1-1.
2) That said, once your car is in the water, you will NOT be able to open the doors. They will feel like a million pounds due to the water pressure. Even when the car is fully submerged, opening the door is impossible unless you're Superman. Therefore, roll down your windows before the vehicle becomes fully submerged; it gives you an already-established way of escape. This leads to explaining away a myth that suggests electronics fail in the water. The battery in your modern vehicle will power down your windows for several minutes, even in the water.
3) Unbuckle your seat belt. I know, it makes sense when thinking about it in the comfort of your chair in front of a computer screen. But quickly pop the seat belt with one hand as you roll down the window with the other. You don't want to wait until the car is fully submerged to do this. You'll already be panicking enough, so why add any stress to yourself by forgetting about your belt? If you have children, don't forget in your state of stress and panic to get them out of their complex car seats before you make your own escape from the car. If you leave without them, it's likely the last time you will see them alive. Scary, I know -- but true. Your kids will be more frightened than you are, and if you think they will escape on their own, you're wrong!
4) If the bottom of a lake or pond is shallower than something like 20 feet (it's not an exact science, but it's close to that depth), the car will most likely sink to the bottom wheels down. When the car initially goes into the water, the front end will sink first, and the trunk will trap the most air, causing the rear end to submerge last. If it's deeper water, however, the car will overturn and come to rest on its roof. So you definitely want to get out before the car heads for the bottom and causes you to be disoriented in the darkness of the deep water. This "landing" phenomenon is probably only if you've simply driven off road down a shallow-grade bank directly into the water. If you crash through a rail on the Golden Gate Bridge and plunge 200 feet to the water below, or something insane like that, then all bets are off.
5) Next, and this is probably the most difficult: Relax and stay as calm as possible. When we're anxious and stressed, we require more oxygen and our breaths are shallower than normal. You're going to need all the air you can get, and the best way to do that is to stay calm. Much easier said than done, but it's true in stressful interviews, as well as in deep water.
6) Finally, fight to stay alive. Win at all costs! Do NOT give up the fight for your life!
The following video is very helpful. As you watch, pay careful attention to how rapidly you'll find yourself breathing when you see the water rushing into the submerged car.