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Escape from
a Turned-over Vehicle

If the vehicle flips, do not panic and behave with caution.

The reasons vehicles are turned on their sides

An abrupt turn during high speed driving, sudden braking, a collision from the side, inadequate operation while driving a sloping road, shock from a road gap or road collapse can all cause a vehicle to flip.

Maximum angle before turning on its side

In addition to keeping appropriate speed and avoiding abrupt operation, stay away from a roadside that might collapse; pay extra attention while driving steep slopes.

The maximum tilt for a vehicle before it turns over when it is not in motion is somewhere between 30 degrees to left/right and 40 degrees to front/rear. When the vehicle is in motion, speed and road condition add to the instability.

On rocky places with gaps, even a 5-degree tilt can cause the vehicle to flip. It is desirable to “feel” these angles in a safe and stable environment so as not to go beyond these limits in the actual driving situations.
Vehicles modified to increase height or with other additions change its center of gravity and extra caution is required.

Escaping from an upset vehicle

If the vehicle flips, do not panic and behave with caution.

  • 1 Turn off the engine

    By turning off the engine, you prevent oil or fuel from catching fire or other engine trouble such as an engine burnout. If the vehicle is equipped with an idling timer, turn it off as well.

  • 2 Prepare for escape

    Prepare to extract yourself from the seat belt and to be able to protect yourself if you fall.

  • 3 Get rid of seat belt

    If you cannot get rid of the belt, cut it with a seatbelt cutter.

  • 4 Open the door or window

    Open the appropriate door/window for you to make the escape. If the door/window is forced shut because of deformation of the body, use a hammer to smash the window and escape.

  • 5 Escape from the vehicle

    Examine to determine if the route of escape is a safe one and get out from the vehicle. Avoid getting close to the tires because an engine or transmission tends to be hot and the fuel tank could ignite. Assess the surface condition and stability of the vehicle before deciding which side of the vehicle from which to escape.

  • 6 Escape to a safe place

    To avoid secondary damage,get away from the vehicle and call for help.

  • Escape tools that save life

    Result could be fatal if the seat belt cannot be removed or if the windows or doors don’t open quickly. To prepare for such an emergency, there are several escape tools. Most of them are a combination of hammer to break the windows and a scissors/cutter to cut the seat belt.They are useful to escape from one’s own vehicle and to save other people from their vehicle as well.
    Tool choices should be made carefully because functions differ with types and sizes. The tools should be fixed on a place within the reach of the driver even when the vehicle is turned upside down.