How to get out of a submerged car

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With the recent incidents of cars going in water, do you know how to survive if it happened to you? (KGO-TV)

With the recent incidents of cars going in water, do you know how to survive if it happened to you?

An estimated 400 people die each year when their cars end up in water. Many of them roll up their windows, hoping for an air bubble and a rescue.

That is a mistake. San Francisco Fire Lt. Jonathan Baxer shares another: "One of the biggest mistakes that people make during these events is trying to open the door with the pressure of the outside water against it. Don't waste your time trying to push that door open. Break the window, get out," he said.

RELATED: Tracy woman still missing after car crashes into Alameda Creek

Baxter says it's all about the first 30 seconds. As soon as you know you're going in, unbuckle your seat belt and break your window - that's your escape route.

But what if your seat belt is stuck or the window won't open? You can buy a device with a spike to break the window and a blade to slash the seat belt.

Michael Finney tested one such product called Resqme. It fits on a keychain and costs about $15-$20.

If you have two kids in the car, put the older child out the window first and then free the younger one. Get to shore first before you call 911. Don't waste valuable escape time.

RELATED: Driver falls asleep, crashes into Alameda Creek from Niles Canyon Road
Related Topics:
newscar accidentwater rescuesafetySFFDSan Francisco
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