A few years ago, we had a family day out to Mercedes World, at the Brooklands race circuit (F1 fan I’m afraid!). Whilst we were there Mercedes had a demo that you could get involved in. They had a car set up in a rig that rolled to demonstrate how to escape. So, yes we took up the challenge and climbed in. While we were hanging upside down they explained to us how to exit the vehicle safely, it was tricky, and to be honest I had no idea how to go about it until they explained the procedure.
Hanging upside down in the vehicle wasn’t an experience I enjoyed! At the time it was comforting to know if we couldn’t get out they could flip the car back over! You haven’t got that option if it happened for real!
If it happened to you, would you know what to do?
We’ve all seen it in the movies: the driver swerves to miss hitting something, sending the car spinning out of control flipping the car upside down.
Rollovers are rare, however, they do happen so it’s a good idea to know how to react after a rollover.
Ready Yourself for the Rollover
Always protect yourself. Before the rollover occurs—if you can—remove your feet from the pedals to avoid breaking your ankles. Release the steering wheel. Cross your arms against your chest as you press your body deep into the seat. Make sure not to lean forward when the car rolls, as this can increase the occurrence of injury. Once the rollover has occurred, take the following steps, if it is safe to do so.
Four Steps to take if you roll your vehicle
Step One: Turn Off Your Engine
Turn off your engine immediately, as an upside-down engine can be dangerous. Fuel leaks and combustion don’t mix, and a rolled-over vehicle may be at risk of fire or explosion. Cutting the engine can reduce additional damages caused by upside down operation.
Step Two: Stabilize and Unbuckle
To get out of a rolled-over car, you’ll need to stabilize yourself. Assuming you’re wearing a seatbelt, you’ll be hanging upside down. Check for any injuries first, then reach for the ceiling. Brace yourself with one hand, and stabilize your feet on the floor. Carefully unbuckle yourself, and lower yourself down. If you are injured and feel that getting out is more dangerous than staying in, don’t risk it. If you cannot unbuckle, use your Seat Belt Cutter.
Step Three: Create an Escape Route
If your door is stuck, you’ll need to create your own escape route. Use your Emergency Hammer/Seat Belt Cutter and break the nearest side window. Not the windscreen as this is made from toughened glass and is pretty unbreakable.
Step Four: Look for Traffic, and Stay Back
The danger isn’t over once you’re outside the vehicle. Never crawl from a turned-over vehicle without watching for traffic first. Once you’ve escaped, and once you’ve helped other passengers out, you’ll need to stand off the roadside. Get as far away from the vehicle as possible, as an explosion can still happen.
Call for help.
Stay safe out there everyone! We don’t want you to have to activate the ‘Four Steps’ but hopefully, you have a better idea of how to deal with the situation.