Tips for Escaping from a Sinking Vehicle

Updated: 11/22/2013 6:20 AM By: Tom Durian

Five children remain hospitalized in serious condition after a car veered off a highway ramp in St. Louis Park and landed in a holding pond early Thursday morning.

The water rescue is reminding us that getting out of a submerged vehicle is a dangerous situation.

There are tools that can help you escape from inside a car in an emergency. Usually called "rescue glass breakers," some of them can be purchased at the local auto parts or hardware stores.

There are also tips to avoid having to break the glass all together. Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht of the University of Manitoba in Canada has studied vehicle submersion.

He offers 4 tips that could save your life if followed in order. Seatbelts, Windows, Children, and Out.

In a recent ABC News story, the Collier County Sheriff put the tips to the test. Following the 4 steps they were able to get 4 people out of a sinking car in less than 30 seconds.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says a vehicle can fill up with water and sink in seconds, but most take a minute or two with the windows closed. They also add that doors can be blocked by debris in the water or water pressure, so the windows are the best option for exit.