There are hundreds of thousands of vehicle collisions every year. Some are minor, leaving no real damage behind, and some are tragic. Knowing that you could be involved in a car accident is frightening. Realizing that you could very well be trapped in your vehicle as the result of an accident is downright terrifying.
If you are involved in a car accident in Charlotte or anywhere else in the country, knowing how to respond to being trapped in your vehicle can make all the difference. While you will certainly be afraid and anxious, remembering these tips can get you out of your car safely.
1. Stay Calm
One of the worst things that anyone can do in a stressful situation is to panic. It is easier said than done to be sure, but remaining calm will be the best thing you can do. Once your car comes to a stop, assess yourself and the situation. Take a few deep breaths and get ready to make some decisions.
2.Take a Look Around
If you can move your head without pain, look around outside of your car. If you see people, chances are that at least one has already called 911. If you don’t see anyone looking at the scene, you may be on your own. Try to remember where you last saw your phone and get it. If you can’t reach your phone or don’t know where it is, you may want to use hands-free calling if your car is equipped and you are able to do so.
3. Unbuckle Yourself
If you are upside down and need to unbuckle your seat belt, brace yourself by placing your forearm or elbow on the roof. Protecting your head is important. If you are right-side up, unbuckle your belt to give yourself a bit more freedom of movement. If you cannot unbuckle your seat belt, look for something that you can cut it with.
4. In the Water
If you end up in water, the best thing to do is to roll your window down quickly, if possible. If you are already submerged, wait until the pressure inside the vehicle is equal to the pressure outside. This makes it easier to roll the window down. When the water is at level with your shoulder, roll down the window. If the electricity to your car has already run out, you may need to kick the window out. Don’t bother kicking the windshield. Instead, you will find it easier to kick out a passenger window.
5. Stock Up Your Emergency Kit
Before your next trip, stock up your vehicle’s emergency kit. You should have a first aid kit, a flashlight, a tool to cut your seat belt, and something that will help you shatter a window. Make sure you also have a couple of bottles of water in your car, as well as a blanket.
While no one wants to be trapped in their car, it does happen. If you can remain calm and use the tips above, you stand a better chance of getting out of your vehicle safely. If you need assistance after a car accident in North Carolina, reach out to our team of car accident attorneys for a free case evaluation.