Escaping From An Upside Down Car

Posted: July 10, 2012 in Survival
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

If you ever find yourself trapped but uninjured in an upside down vehicle here is a method to effect your escape from the vehicle.

  1. Place your hands against the roof and push yourself up to take the weight off of the seat belt buckle otherwise it will be difficult to release.
  2. Release the belt buckle, if buckle won’t release cut the strap with your EDC (every day carry) pocket knife.
  3. Open the door.  If the door won’t open, smash the window with a heavy object.  (You did remember to keep a pry bar or a short metalpipe, etc between the front seat in all your vehicles right)?
  4. Crawl out through either the open door or the shattered window.  Be careful of any broken glass in the area.


  1. Sound advice. I’ve personally been in this situation and consider myself lucky to have walked away with only minor scratches (from the aforementioned broken glass). I was also a firefighter before moving to the USA and can offer a couple of further pieces of advice. These go for any auto accidents and not just if you find yourself upside down.

    1. Although a knife will cut through a seatbelt with relative ease, it is actually better to carry a designated seatbelt cutter in the car, attached somewhere under the seat or to the door. These are specifically designed to cut through a seatbelt and are very cheap (ebay etc.). Many also have metal points on the ends for ease of breaking glass too.
    2. If you find that you cannot escape the vehicle or even get yourself the right way up, stay as still as you can. Many people suffer worse injuries to the neck and back when trying to escape from the vehicle. Panic sets in and people really try to fight their way out. If you’ve ever seen firefighters and paramedics at the scene of an accident, you’ll notice that they will always protect a persons head and neck, regardless of whether or not a spinal injury is suspected, it’s better to be safe than sorry right?!

    Hope this is helpful!

  2. Valuable advice there. Having been in a car crash that wrote the car off it’s something I’ve often wondered about. I was lucky, I wasn’t the driver and my seatbelt was a lifesaver. Thankfully I was able to release it or maybe someone else did. It was all a bit of a haze. So far as I know there were no cutting tools in the car at the time so I was very lucky. The car was smoking so things could have been very different. However I survived 😉 I avoid travelling by road now though whenever possible – it’s lethal down here. Foot power’s not much better either! Been hit by a drunken driver and that hurt too!! Probably very wise to carry one’s own cutting tool for seatbelts if travelling in someone else’s car I suspect. Every car driver should follow your good advice here. And familiarise themselves with the escape methods you describe too.

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