Hurricane safety: Here’s what to do if your car is swept away by water


Keeping a cool head and remembering these tips may save your life if your vehicle is ever overcome by water. 

According to a 2006 study, as many as 400 people drown in North America in cars that are submerged in water.

Because seconds matter, especially after your car is submerged, it’s important that you stay calm and follow these steps.

Brace for impact

If you know you’re going into a lake or river, it’s important to brace yourself for impact to avoid serious injury before you attempt your escape. 

Keep your hands at “ten and two” on the steering wheel so if the airbag inflates, you will avoid serious injury to your head and extremities.

While your vehicle is floating

Immediately undo your seat belt and then unbuckle any children starting with the oldest child first. Older children can help unbuckle any younger passengers.

Unlock the doors and open windows:

Even though a door is not considered the best way to exit a vehicle until it’s fully submerged, it’s important to unlock them while your electrical system is still functioning.

According to WikiHow, try to open a window right after you enter the water. If your electrical system is not functioning, use an object to break the glass. The headrests in most cars can be removed and the metal inserts may break the glass. Do not attempt to break the windshield because the safety glass is designed to break in a manner that would make it hard to escape through.

Some other suitable objects to break the glass include steering wheel locks, tools, keys or window-breaking tools that are typically hammer-shaped. 

Escape

After taking a deep breath, try to escape through the window. If you have children in the vehicle, push them out first. If they can’t swim, give them an object that floats and tell them not to let go of it.

Swim

As you escape the vehicle, try not to kick in a manner that might injure others escaping. If you’re submerged when you escape, follow the bubbles to the surface.

Get help

Most water can be cold enough that hypothermia can occur even after a short period underwater. Additionally, you may experience shock or injuries from the accident. Once you have reached the edge of the water, seek medical attention immediately.

It’s important to note that while water caused by flooding or storm surge may appear on a known route, motorists should never intentionally drive into high water.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Aberdeen shooting: 3 dead, suspect hospitalized after 'horrific' Rite Aid center incident
Aberdeen shooting: 3 dead, suspect hospitalized after 'horrific' Rite Aid center incident

At least three people died Thursday in a shooting at a Rite Aid distribution center in Maryland, an official told The Associated Press. Deputies in Harford County said they responded just after 9 a.m. to reports of a shooting with “multiple victims” near the intersection of Spesutia and Perryman roads. Update 3:05 p.m. EDT Sept. 20...
88-year-old victim of carjacking: ‘I’d kill the SOB’
88-year-old victim of carjacking: ‘I’d kill the SOB’

An elderly Michigan woman left battered and bruised when a man stole her car and purse outside a Walmart store Tuesday did not mince words when asked what she would like to do if she saw the man again. “I’d kill the son of a (expletive),” Gloria Kevelighan told Fox 2 in Detroit. “The way he pushed me, he didn’t care...
James Brown's daughter, Venisha Brown, dead at 53
James Brown's daughter, Venisha Brown, dead at 53

Venisha Brown, one of the daughters of the late Godfather of Soul James Brown and the late Yvonne Fair, formerly of the Chantels, died Wednesday. She was 53. >> Read more trending news  Venisha Brown died at Augusta University Health Medical Center in Augusta due to complications from pneumonia, according to a release from the ...
Orlando Melbourne International Airport reopens after security breach; man arrested
Orlando Melbourne International Airport reopens after security breach; man arrested

Florida’s Orlando Melbourne International Airport has reopened after an early morning security breach Thursday morning, and a 22-year-old college student is now in police custody, authorities said. Update 1:25 p.m. EDT Sept. 20: Airport officials said the suspect was a 22-year-old part-time college student from Trinidad and Tobago who...
Ex-boyfriend stabs woman’s new boyfriend after hiding in closet
Ex-boyfriend stabs woman’s new boyfriend after hiding in closet

A 24-year-old Texas man is in critical condition Thursday after he was stabbed by his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend, who was hiding in a closet at her apartment, WOAI reported. >> Read more trending news  Anthony Escobedo, 24, was taken to a San Antonio hospital with a collapsed lung, the television station reported. The incident...
More Stories