June 17, 2024 at 6:34 am

‘You have approximately one minute to get out safely.’ – Doctor Shared What People Need To Do if Their Cars Become Submerged In Water

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: TikTok/@therealdrdarria

When I was a kid, I used to worry about this all the time for some reason…

I’m talking about the car I was in plunging into a body of water and having to fight my way out.

Luckily, that hasn’t happened to me yet, but I guess it’s never too late to brush up on those skills just in case!

Dr. Darria is an emergency room doctor and she posted a video on TikTok and gave viewers advice about what they should do if they ever find themselves in a car that is submerged in water.

And it all comes down what she calls SWOC:  Seatbelts Off, Windows Open, Out of the Car, Oldest Children First. The doctor pointed out that this must be done in 60 seconds or less to be successful.

Source: TikTok

She said, “If your car falls into water you have approximately one minute to get out safely. Here are the four steps that will make the difference in survival for you and your family. When I take care of patients who survived vehicle submersions, it is because they knew what to do and did it immediately before they even had the time for panic to set in. I want you to be able do the same.”

Dr. Darria had a visual aid and told viewers, “You can see that when a car hits the water, it’s kind of like a leaky boat. It has about a minute as it starts to sink. You also see that in most cars, they tip forward meaning that second-row window stays above the water longer, that’s especially important if you have children in the car.”

Source: TikTok

She said, “S for seatbelts — get everybody’s seatbelts off. W, Window Open. Immediately open the window you’re gonna be using the exit. If you have kids in the car, you’ll probably want to use that second-row window to buy you more time and because your kids are in the second row.”

After everyone gets out, she added, “C, for oldest children first, taking that youngest one with you.”

Safety first!

Source: TikTok

Check out what she had to say.


If you’ve ever driven over a bridge or past water and thought “what would i do if my car fell in”, then this post is for you.  As an ER doctor, it’s my JOB to think of emergencies and how I’d respond –  and my mission to help you do the same. Once your car hits the water, you have approximately ONE minute to get out. So, I talked with one of the leading experts in car submersion events, Gordon Giesbrecht (IG professorpopsicle), to find out EXACTLY what to do, to help save you and your family.  “WHEN passengers had an appropriate response planned, exit could be accomplished quickly” Watch the video for the 4 steps. Plus,some myth-busting 1. Do NOT rely on glass-breakers. It takes precious time to FIND your glass-breaker, ANDd (2) many modern cars have side windows made with laminated glass (just like the windshield), and glass-breakers will NOT break that.  2. Electrical windows WILL open. The issue isn’t the electricity – it’s pressure. You just need to open the window before the water has reached ⅓ – ½ of the way up (ideally before the water has even risen to the window level). 3. Some popular guidance says to “wait until the car has flooded with water, then open the door”. Do NOT do this, unless as last resort. 4. Go out the window – don’t try to open the door. The water pressure could make it slam back on you, AND this makes the car fill with water MUCH faster.  5. DO NOT DELAY. Do not do ANYTHING else first but SWOC. 6. Why the oldest child first? Let out the ones who need the least help first, so you can have both arms on the youngest.  7. Never get out of the car before your child – if the car suddenly fills with water and you’re out of it, you’d have a very difficult time getting back to it. But if you’re both inside and you’re holding the child, you can still swim out.  Repeat SWOC to yourself. Burn it on your brain, in hopes you’ll NEVER EVER need it, and share it with other mamas out there.  Video credit of sinking car: Gordon Giesbrecht #carsafety #emergency #emergencypreparedness #emergencymedicine #doctor #erdoctor #doctorsoftiktok

♬ original sound – TheRealDrDarria

Here’s what TikTokkers had to say.

This viewer shared how they do it.

Source: TikTok

Another person spoke up.

Source: TikTok

And this TikTokker is ready to break windows.

Source: TikTok

You can never have too much safety knowledge!

If you liked that story, check out this video about a Dollar Store cashier who has had it with customers who argue over $4 products.