Learn How This Kidnapping Victim Escaped From the Trunk of Her Own Car [Video]

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Whether it’s an abduction or a prank gone wrong, if you find yourself trapped in the trunk of a car, you’ll want to get out quickly.

Here are a few tips that experts recommend to help make an escape:

Pull the trunk release. Thanks to a national law, all American cars made after 2002 (except hatchbacks, SUVs and other models without separate trunks) are required to have a release latch inside the trunk. It is often glow-in-the-dark and located near the trunk latch.

But if you can’t find it, feel around: the release could also be a cord, button or toggle switch, or a handle that does not illuminate.

Don’t panic. This tip won’t get you out on its own — and it’s definitely easier said than done when you’re in a life-or-death situation — but keeping a cool head can help buy you time.

Experts say that trunks aren’t totally airtight and, depending on body size and weight, it can take more than 12 hours to run out of oxygen. Hyperventilation, however, can cut this time considerably, so try to take deep, calming breaths. This will allow you to listen to what’s going on outside… be aware of sounds that can help identify where the kidnapper is driving and when they are stopping, and focus on an escape plan.

Feel around for tools. If your kidnapper hasn’t taken your cell phone, you can use it as a light source — and if they have, try to assess what else could be helpful. Can you feel a flashlight, crowbar or pliers?

All can be used to help break through the backseat, or pry a panel off the brake lights, or even be used as a weapon against your captors if they open the trunk.