Among the most common selling points that is associated with a car hammer is that it can save your life if your car is ever submerged under water, sealing you inside. However, many people wonder whether this concept of doors that cannot be opened underwater is true or whether it is only a myth.
Nobody wants to think about sinking underwater while trapped within their vehicle, but it actually happens more frequently than you might think. Therefore, it may be important for you to know the truth about whether or not it is easy to escape from this type of situation, in case it could mean the difference between life and death.
The reason that a car hammer is actually a life-saving tool is that if your car is submerged underwater, the pressure differential that occurs between the outside of the car – where the water is – and the inside of the car – where you and the air are – is great enough that even a very strong person would not be able to force the door open. It isn’t until the interior cabin is also flooded that the pressure balances and the door can open, once more.
Therefore, if you plan to be able to escape a submerged vehicle, in the event that this should ever occur, you would need to be able to make sure you have control over the ability to flood your vehicle so you can open the door and make your escape.
The key, in this terrifying situation is (as is the case in all things) to remain calm and breathe as slowly as you can, conserving oxygen and keeping your mind clear. When you are ready, take off your seat belt, use a car hammer to smash the glass, holding your breath, as the water will start rushing in. If you have the opportunity to take another breath, go for it, if not, force the door open as soon as you can; likely when the water is about waist-high. Get yourself out and kick your legs to bring yourself to the surface of the water.
That said, it would be even better if you were to be able to escape the vehicle before it is entirely submerged. If it is still partially above the water, you may be able to open the door, as the pressure will not be enough to keep it closed. The sooner you can get out, the easier it will be to open the door.
In case you have crank/roll-down windows and not power windows and think you won’t need a glass hammer, think again. Once the car is submerged, the pressure against the window, even if it is only 2 feet below the surface, is too great to allow you to move the gear. The odds are better that you would break the handle or the mechanism than to open the window. Therefore, smashing it is your best way to get free.
With all of the major floods that are happening in Texas and Louisiana, now is the best time to consider having an emergency tool in your car. Some of these come with a seat belt cutter and other options that can be very handy in a car crash or a flash flood situation. It is highly suggested that you keep this in the middle console, glove compartment or the side pocket in the driver’s door – Just make sure to have it handy in the event of an emergency.