What to do if you are in the car during an earthquake?

Following these guidelines can help you stay safe while driving a car, car, or any other vehicle during an earthquake.

What to do if you are in the car during an earthquake?
When an earthquake strikes, what should you do if you're driving? Photo by Jens Aber / Unsplash

Numerous people have had to develop a culture of preparedness and response to earthquakes over the years, especially regarding the evacuation of homes, apartments, and offices. However, understanding what to do if you are in a car and it begins to shake is just as crucial to preventing accidents.

Attempting to maintain composure is important when evacuating a building, as is doing it calmly yet rapidly. When driving, it's crucial to keep oneself safe from the tremor as well as other vehicles and onlookers who rush out onto the streets in a panic. If you are driving during an earthquake, it is crucial to follow these guidelines because of the anxiety to leave as quickly as possible, the earthquake's detection, and the driving of the car itself.

How to act during an earthquake if you are driving?

According to the federal agency of Federal Roads and Bridges of Revenue and Related Services (Capufe), there are at least five key points to keep in mind during an earthquake if you are driving a car:

After detecting the earthquake, the first thing is to slow down gradually. Do not brake suddenly and warn the cars behind you that you are braking.
In parallel or immediately after, turn on the flashing lights to prevent any kind of contact with another vehicle.
Stop the car in a safe area without risk of collapse, so avoid parking under a tree, a bridge, or structures at risk, such as a spectacular structure.
Stay in the car with your seat belt unbuckled. It is important not to get out, except in an emergency, to avoid being hit by a landslide caused by the earthquake, so they suggest the fetal position.
When the tremor has passed, resume the road with extreme caution and slowly, to detect any cracks in the road, landslides, or accident vehicles.

You must take into account pedestrians who have vacated buildings, who amid the chaos may not notice the traffic of cars. Likewise, Capufe reminds motorists to avoid, as far as possible, staying under buildings higher than five stories, with poles and electrical wiring at risk of collapse. Finally, they recommend that you turn on the radio and that you do not try to protect yourself under your car for any reason.