8 Bridge Failure Survival Tips

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A bridge failure can be caused by more than a handful of reasons. Regardless, would you know what to do should you find yourself in one such awful incident?

What To Do During A Bridge Failure

Faulty design, poor construction and materials used, strong winds, washout, poor maintenance and check-up methods, collisions, and overloading are among the few reasons for a bridge to fail. One of the gravest threats occupants in a car can go through is to plunge down into a ravine or a body of water below. What is it you need to do then?

1. Expect The Unexpected

Always hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. No one wants to be involved in a bridge failure.

Expect The Unexpected | 8 Bridge Failure Survival Tips

But if you travel over one or two days to and from work regularly, you should at least expect it to happen.

2. Store A Car Emergency Kit

Store A Car Emergency Kit | 8 Bridge Failure Survival Tips


It may take some time for rescuers to reach you should you be involved in this kind of freak accident. The things inside your emergency kit are the essentials you will surely need if you’re down on a ravine. If you’re able, you can apply first-aid treatment to any injuries or cuts that might save your life.

3. Buckle Up

Always wear your seatbelt. Most survivors testified had they not been wearing their seatbelts, they would have surely gone through the windshield or thrown out the window upon impact.

4. Have Survival Tools Ready

Have Survival Tools Ready | 8 Bridge Failure Survival Tips

There are different proven and tested survival tools on the market today. Some small multi-tools can be used to cut a jammed seatbelt or break a car window.

It can even be attached to your key chain making it readily within reach in the event of an accident. Get the compact and powerful Evac3 here!

5. If You Fall On Land

  • Switch off the engine – This will prevent any possible fire from occurring or making an existing fire bigger. This will also stop any smoke emitted by the engine, should it still be running.
  • Unbuckle your seatbelt – If the belt is jammed, you can use your seatbelt cutter from your multi-tool.
  • Exit the vehicle immediately if your car is stable from falling any further. Don’t forget to grab your emergency survival kit.

6. If You Fall On Water

  • Focus on getting out of your car. Not calling 911. Every second counts. You have all the time once you’re out of the car.
  • Unbuckle your seatbelt. If it’s stuck, use the multi-tool seatbelt cutter.
  • Roll your window down instead of opening the door. Doing the latter will make you sink faster. The pressure from the water will make it almost impossible for you to open the door. You must be quick about this because the window will be forced against the door frame due to water pressure when the water reaches the base of the passenger window.
  • If you have a child with you, let them out first starting with the oldest one. Push them out of the window if you have to. The youngest one should be in your arms as you break out.
  • Swim out and away from the car. Immediately head for the nearest land in case there may still be falling debris from the bridge.
  • Pay attention to the changing air pockets. The car might be tumbling and rolling because of the change in pressure from the inside as it is being filled with water. Keep your head up to where these changes occur.

7. Break The Window

Modern day vehicles have power windows which may not work when it gets wet. The use of a multi-tool will come in handy. You’ll need every second you can get just to get out. Check out the Power Bullet, a stylish USB charger with a hidden safety hammer that shatters car glass! For just $0.01 get the Power Bullet emergency tool for your car.

8. Stay Calm

It takes only about a few seconds to a minute before the car is completely filled with water. If it’s on fire or hanging by an edge of a cliff you’ll have to exert a lot of effort to keep calm. Keeping a sound mind will result in making the right decisions at such a critical moment.

Watch this video about the experience of survivors of the 2007 Minneapolis bridge collapse posted by ABC News:

There may be a lot of causes but ultimately surviving a bridge failure without losing your composure in a strenuous situation will give you the ability to make the right decisions. Ultimately, it’s about getting out and living to tell the tale.

8 Bridge Failure Survival Tips

Do you have any other bridge failure survival tips of your own? Please add them in the comments below!

Here is an article about escaping a sinking car you might want to learn now!

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The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.

Editor's Note: This was first published on May 2, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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