|Title||My Car Is Sinking: Automobile Submersion, Lessons in Vehicle Escape|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Authors||GG, G, GK, M|
|Journal||Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine|
Introduction: In North America ~400 individuals per year die in submersed vehicles, accounting for 5-11% of all drownings. About half of people surveyed would let the vehicle fill with water before attempting exit.
Methods: We used a crane and two passenger vehicles of the same make, model, and year—one with passenger compartment intact (I) and one with holes (H) in the floor (area~2200 cm2)—to conduct occupied and unoccupied submersions.
Results: Three phases of submersion were identified:
Conclusions: A vehicle is most easily exited during the initial Floating Phase. We suggest the following escape procedure: SEATBELT(s) unfastened; WINDOWS open; CHILDREN released from restraints and brought close to an adult; and OUT, children should exit first.