7 Ways to Survive Almost Any Accident That Can Happen While Driving

year ago

A former Navy SEAL shared his most important advice if you ever find yourself trapped in a car: “if you panic, you will lose your oxygen,” he says. Staying calm is one of the basic guidelines to survive a disaster in your car. But there are a few other things to know that will provide you with the chance to survive the worst.

1. A downed power line on the car

Downed power lines are a common accident in the midst of a heavy storm. The rubber car tires act as insulation, so staying in the car will keep you safe. Stay calm and call for help.

What to do:

  • If there is a fire or a severe injury and you need to leave the car open the door but don’t touch the car because there is electricity running all over it.
  • If you have a rubber floor mat — most of these are made of a rubber material — place it on the ground outside as far as you think you can jump.
  • Take off any long clothing you have on you before jumping. Nothing on you should touch the ground and the car at the same time or you’ll get electrocuted.
  • When you are ready, do the jump with both feet close together, and land on the mat.

2. An avalanche

In case you are driving and an avalanche occurs, the most threatening part isn’t the cold and the snow, but the carbon monoxide, which can get into the car from a clogged tailpipe and will cause suffocation.

What to do:

  • First of all, turn off the engine to avoid a carbon monoxide incident.
  • If your car is covered, do not try to open any doors or windows. The snow will fill up the car and you won’t be able to get it out.
  • Instead, stay where you are and try to keep warm. Bring your legs close to your chest and use any clothing available. The car will stay warm for a while since the snow acts as an insulator.
  • Most importantly, manage your breathing. You only have oxygen for a few hours, so don’t waste it by lighting a fire or a cigarette.
  • Sound the horn constantly to get noticed.

3. A tornado

A car is not the best place to be when a tornado strikes. You should get out and run as fast as possible to find a shelter or a covered structure. But there might be nothing around.

What to do:

  • Drive away from the tornado’s path. Go either 90 degrees to the left or to the right. You should always be able to see the tornado in the rearview mirror.
  • If it’s too late for that, lower the windows to avoid broken glass on you and get down as low as possible while still buckled in.

4. A hurricane

This is a tough scenario too. In contrast with encountering a tornado, if you get caught up in a hurricane you should stay in the car for safety, but do not get stuck in traffic around other vehicles.

What to do:

  • Spot the evacuation routes, try to find alternative exits.
  • Drive away from the hurricane immediately, but not fast, because speed may cause you to hydroplane with the car, which will make you lose traction and control of the vehicle.
  • Never drive through water. Always seek the pavement as safety measure, if you cannot see then it’s not safe to drive through.

5. An earthquake

If you are in a car and an earthquake occurs, you are probably safe.

What to do:

  • First thing to do is stay away from tall buildings and big trees to avoid the possibility of them collapsing on top of you.
  • If you find yourself in a parking garage, exit the vehicle and lay down between 2 cars to find safety.

6. A carjacking

The most important thing is to try to avoid the carjacking in the first place. Always keep your doors locked and your windows up and when parked between cars, leave a space in the back and the front, so that if someone tries to get in, you can do a quick maneuver and drive away ASAP.

What to do:

  • A popular tactic used is called “bump and jump” where someone bumps your car and waits for you to get out, so they can take your car. If this happens to you, don’t even get out of the car and drive in the opposite direction.
  • If the carjacker is in your car and forces you to drive, go straight to a police station or a really crowded place.

  • Another thing you can do is to try telling the person that there is a tracking device in the car that you cannot deactivate yourself.

  • If you cannot do any of the above, drive carelessly: Speed, turn the lights off and on, or erratically change lanes. The goal is to get noticed and get pulled over by the police.

7. Being locked in the trunk

In the rare scenario of being forced into and locked in the trunk of a car by a carjacker, there is also a way of getting noticed.

What to do:

  • Try to disconnect the brake lights or kick them out. You’ll probably get noticed by the drivers behind you or hopefully, the driver will be pulled over by a police officer.
  • The latest models have escape cords in the trunks. If you know where yours is located, you can get out.
  • Try to reach the back seats by pushing the seats down in order to exit from the back door.
  • If you cannot do any of the above, as a final measure, find a jack or some other hardware and when the car stops and the carjacker opens the trunk, attack them to escape.
Please note: This article was updated in April 2023 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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Very interesting tip number 5, but what if I can find two cars to lay down between?


I had a friend that lived a carjacking once and she was saved just because she had a tracking device in the car. She told the carjacker about it and suddenly he just left her go. I guess he got scared...


I don't think trying to get noticed when a carjacker is in your car is a good idea, he isn't dumb.. he won't let me drive to the police


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