Trapped in your car? Here’s what you can do to escape

Experts suggest kicking the windshield as it is made of laminated safety glass and will not cause serious injuries too.

The death of a young couple inside a car which was parked in the garage a few weeks ago came as a shock but it was also a bit unusual for many.

The couple had reportedly kept the ignition and air conditioner of the car on and had downed the garage shutter. They died due to lack of oxygen after inhaling carbon monoxide emanating from the exhaust, state initial reports.    

Though this is an incident that many of us must have heard for the first time, isn’t it still horrifying? 

Metrolife spoke to automobile experts to know the safety tips and what people should do if trapped in a locked car. 

R Sankol, senior works manager, says, “In case you are locked inside and there is nowhere to go, the basic thing to do is to use the headrest as a weapon to break open the windows. The pointed metal rod should be put to good use. There are also many car emergency toolkits available that come with a hammer, torch and a seat belt cutter. Keeping one of those handy can be useful.”   

Today, most cars come with electric windows, but considering that these don’t work if the electric circuit is hampered during floods or on other occasions, Sankol says the classic rolling windows are better and safe.

“It is very rare for the locking system to malfunction, even if the car is five to six years old. Having said that, it is important to get the vehicle serviced regularly. Keeping a check on a weekly basis is a good option. Never postpone servicing of the vehicle,” he says.

Sankol points out that manufacturers can look into having the option of an emergency exit in every car. And it is also equally a motorist’s responsibility to learn and understand the basic features of a vehicle.

“Going through the service manual to understand the important aspects is necessary. Every car is different and you may not be aware of every trait. However, the important information should be on the first few pages and highlighted in bold colours,” suggests Sankol. 

Narayana Rao, head of franchise business, Koovers, a car repair and service centre, says that the first thing to do is to switch on the hazard warning lamp if a person is trapped in the car. This will alarm passersby. “Continuous honking or in case of circuit malfunction, banging on the window can also gain people’s attention”, he says. 

“Kicking out the windshield is a quick way to escape. However, many fear of hurting themselves. It is important to know that the windshield is generally made of laminated safety glass which reduces the chances of serious injuries,” says Narayana.

Ready reckoner

* Take your car for regular servicing

* Keep sharp objects handy to break glass

* Honk continuously

* Keep your service station’s number saved. Call for help. 

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Trapped in your car? Here’s what you can do to escape

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