Would you know what to do if your car crashed into the sea and began to sink? For every foot you descend towards Davey Jones' Locker, 850 pounds of pressure are being exerted on your car door, making the simple act of opening it and exiting an impossibility at the worst possible time.

For this episode of The List, we've brought our hosts, Jessi and Patrick, to the experts at Amphibious Medics to learn the various techniques for escaping a car underwater. That's right, there's more than one school of thought on the best course of action in these situations, and we're going to try them all. While our hosts express their preference for which technique worked best for them, we're no experts and encourage you to do your own research.

Of course, we set up a completely controlled situation wherein we could ensure the safety of Jessi and Patrick, so don't try this at home with your winter beater and a local pond. We found a location perfectly suited for dunking cars, hired some trained medics and divers to watch their backs, and enlisted the services of the show's trusty BMW 3 Series (see its other starring roles in Work as a Professional Stunt Driver and Buy a Used Car Online) to play the part of the hapless sinking auto.

Will this knowledge ever come in handy? About 400 people die from vehicle-related drownings in the United States each year, so the odds are ever in your favor on this one. But if you ever do find yourself slowly sinking underwater in your car, you'll be glad you watched.



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  • 695 Comments
      Rob
      • 1 Year Ago
      AOL has become nothing but a video machine. It must be because no one knows how to read anymore. I hate all these damn videos.
        georgettec28
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Rob

        Rob, thanks so much for your comment. I feel exactly the same way. I wonder if AOL realizes this?

      soudfd
      • 1 Year Ago
      These videos are extremely well made! Great job guys. This one was intense. Was holding my breathe literally.
      Squeek
      • 1 Year Ago
      My husband near died in his submerged car. Due to an accident on the highway, his vehicle went off the road, flipped and landed upside down in the water. He could NOT get his seat belt unclipped as his weight of being upside down was too much for the button to be depressed. He had to wait for the car to finish filling up with water so his body could more or less buoy or float upward to get the seat belt off. My stomach still flips around thinking of that incident. Thank GOD at least his window was down and once he got the belt unclipped, he was out in a flash.
      DOC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thesse folks went to a lot of trouble to stage this situation---to help you get out of a bad situation. Can't you just accept this advice and hope you never hae to use it? You guys are so damned critical OF EVERYTHING!
      andreiib
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just love these programs that try and simulate things while conveniently ignoring all the things that usually go into accidents like this. For one, they mention that people usually drive into water who are inebriated or asleep, so there all the time they show where the person has time to evaluate and decide what to do is gone. Two, they altered the condition of the car to one to 'enhance drainage'!!! WTF? My guess is that the car would not have filled so rapidly with water (and I would bet on a healthy air bubble). Three, what is with these people staying strapped in all the way down? If I am in an accident, the FIRST thing I do is unbuckle. Four, it appeared that the crane was still supporting the car as it flooded probably because these clowns are lazy and don't want to have to reharness the car in between takes. Worthless test! If I have to contend with the car moving as well as flooding that should be shown, don't you think? Five, they were remiss in not mentioning that many submersions happen when nimrods try and cross flooded bridges and roads and misjudge, the current catches them, sweeps the car into deeper water and down they go! Newsflash people! If the water is deeper than your axle or if you can't see the dotted line, your car probably won't make it! I used to see morons in Texas try this all the time.
        robmjbprec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @andreiib
        You've really broke this down nicely for us andreiib. I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for that. I would just add on the flooded bridge scenario, that there's also a nasty current to contend with, unlike the placid pool. No doubt, we could go on for much longer breaking this ridiculous story down further. It's nothing but a car wreck, drowning in it's own stupidity.
        gordonrobroy
        • 1 Month Ago
        @andreiib

        i once rescued a driver trapped in a car---i used a tow truck J hook to smack the side glass----didnt break right away--that window film is strong---it took about 10 hits before it broke----for most people going under i suggest you find your god---because that is all you will get.....bob

      mcybersmith
      • 1 Year Ago
      It just hit me that the way to solve this situation is that cares have air tanks/float tanks that are automatically inflated by sensors the determine the car has gone into water - compressed air FILLS the tanks and causes the car to rise up to the top of the water. Now is THAT a good idea or not. Tell me (send to bigclaim@aol.com) Let's promote it
      stafokused
      • 5 Months Ago
      Why not remove the seat belt as soon as possible, so your free to escape when youcan? In the demo it appeared that this wasn't done.
      Gina
      • 1 Year Ago
      I didn't watch the stupid video. I'm tired of these horrible commercials and ads not to mention the videos themselves. Just write the piece and let us read for crying out loud! I can skim an article faster than watching a video! Oh and seatbelts stink. Sure they save SOME lives but it should be up to us if we CHOOSE to protect ourselves with those things. Just like the bikers don't have to wear helmets anymore because it's THEIR CHOICE to protect their heads if they want to! I do not like seat belts all the time. I wear mine 99% of the time only because it's the law. There are times when I whip that thing off and think, "WHO THE HELL CARES! IT"S MY RIGHT IF I DON'T WANT TO WEAR A SEAT BELT"!
        Paul
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gina
        Amen! Last time I was pulled over for no seatbelt by a cop (a motorcycle one, no less) I pointed this out to him .. Just tell them MY BODY, MY CHOICE! If more people would do that, maybe they would repeal the stupid law .. Tired of the State being so damn paternalistic anymore ..
        Heymickr
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gina
        And who pays for your medical bills if you are foolish enough to either ride a bike without a helmet or ride in a car without a seatbelt? We all do one way or another. Why not choose not to ride a bike or ride in a car. That way you don't put the rest of us at economic risk.
      jimzplace3546
      • 1 Year Ago
      I HATE being sited with a subject I am interested in then being required to watch a video. I read perfectly well thank you.
      Action Engines
      • 1 Year Ago
      My brother survived a icy crash into Wabash River. 3 other colleagues died. My brother woke up and no one was in the car. He kicked out windshield and swam to surface. He ran 3 miles to the fraternity house to try to get help, but he was the only one who survived. He was in shock and in the hospital for two weeks. Not sure how this would help, but just wanted to submit this.
        celebrityl
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Action Engines
        I see your description twice, does that mean he was unlucky enough to repeat this ordeal ?????
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      pboucard50
      • 1 Year Ago
      The very best way to escape a car underwater is to keep your eyes on the road and do what you are supposed to do in a car, not texting, not reading, not writing, not watching TV. It's common sense, anything, but driving, can wait.
        mikeyoda511
        • 1 Year Ago
        @pboucard50
        You have to rephrase the first part of your statement to make it true.
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