Bail-outs are often used as a quick means of escaping from a vehicle which is either in danger of exploding, entering dangerous territory, or about to fall off a cliff or into water. Bailing out can also be strategically useful, allowing one to send a vehicle speeding into a group of enemies while leaving oneself free to attack independently. Bail-outs are executed with the same key or button that the player uses to enter or exit vehicles, while the vehicle is still in motion. In most cases, the player will lose a small amount of health as a result of hitting the ground after exiting the vehicle. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an exception — the player will not lose health when bailing out unless they are bailing out of a land vehicle which is in mid-air (and which is relatively high above the ground).
In Grand Theft Auto IV, the use of ragdoll physics makes it hard to predict the amount of damage the player will sustain, as the player will now maintain inertia from the vehicle and continue to move forward, bouncing along the ground and losing health with each bounce; the damage sustained is generally greater than that suffered in previous GTA games, to the point of being potentially lethal to players lacking in health, and objects like walls, other cars, solid items on the street (such as lampposts) factor in to the possible damage the player will sustain. As inertia will still move the player forward after bailing out, and bail-outs are executed at least one second after the player presses the button, players must take care to bail out well before a vehicle is due to explode or fall.
Bail-outs can be done from aircraft as well as land vehicles. As falls from high altitudes are lethal (unless the player lands in a body of water; excluding GTA V where you will be killed if falling from a high height into water), players who completed the Flying School or have a 50% or higher flying skill in GTA: San Andreas are equipped with parachutes after exiting any aircraft to provide a chance of survival after ejecting.
In real life, contrary to popular beliefs, hitting a body of water from an altitude is not as lethal as hitting concrete, but still enough to cause injuries.
- Bail-outs in GTA: SA are disabled when the game is under the influence of the "Flying Vehicles" cheat, as it is impossible to exit one if a vehicle the player is in is moving, even if it is submerged in water (except for Xbox version).
- GTA: San Andreas is the only game in which you don't lose health when bailing out (except for aircraft).
- The mission Management Issues, is the only mission in GTA San Andreas that encourages you to bail out (although it's still possible to stay in the car and exit it once it's in the water).
- There is a trick or glitch in GTA: SA that if you bail out on a high-speed car that's just about to crash in a 90 degree wall, CJ will spawn in front of the car (between the wall), and sometimes even under the car. Getting stuck in the process, drains your health meter quickly. If the car spawns on top of a player in most of the HD Universe games, the player will simply crawl out from under.
- If you bail out of a speeding car and it hits and kills someone, you won't get a wanted level (except in GTA V).
- If you bail out from a car in mid air (flying car cheat), CJ will instantly bail out without even opening the car door.
- In the PS2 version of San Andreas, bailing out of a Vortex while going at high speed will freeze the game. This may be explained by either the lack of code for the "exiting animation while running at high speed", or by how the game handles the Vortex (it is considered to be an aircraft).
- In GTA IV and GTA V, it is possible to glitch your way inside buildings by bailing out at the right second.
- In GTA 2, you can bail out of police cars after being arrested. When driving away from the police station, you'll be thrown out of the car anyway but you can bail as soon as you spawn into gameplay if you wish. The police car rapidly picks up speed and you can bail at any time before being chucked out.