Do not panic and act quickly to save yourself if your vehicle plunges into water or the sea, said Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (JBPM) director-general Mohammad Hamdan Wahid.
He said the first thing to do was to unfasten the seat belt to allow smooth movement in the limited space and take a deep breath to get oxygen supply before getting out of the car immediately.
"If the vehicle starts to sink, do not try to open the driver's door because the extreme water pressure will make it difficult to push open the door. This will be a waste of time and it will be more difficult to escape," he said when contacted by Bernama in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
He said the victim must wind down the window next to the driver’s seat and then get out through the window if the passenger seat window could be wound down.
Mohammad Hamdan said if this could not be done as the door has been damaged, the victim could use his or her might or get a hard sharp object such as the driver's headrest to smash the corner of the car window.
“Do not try to break the windshield or the windscreen on the driver’s side as it could be more difficult to break due to safety aspects.
"Push the broken glass pieces using your legs and swim out to the water surface to get help.
“Remove your clothes and shoes if they are too heavy to facilitate movement in the water,” he added.
Last Sunday, a private college student Moey Yun Peng, 20, died after the Mazda CX-5 SUV he was driving collided with a Toyota Vios and plunged into the sea at KM 4 of the Penang Bridge at 2.54am.
Efforts to retrieve the vehicle and victim were hampered by bad weather and strong currents and the operation was successfully completed on Tuesday evening.
The body of the victim was found strapped in the driver's seat.