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Ask a Soldier: Have a plan if the car is submerged – Austin Daily Herald

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By Sergeant. Troy Christianson

Question: I saw your recent article on flooded roads. Do you have any advice on what a person should do if their vehicle is submerged in water?

To respond: The dynamics of such an incident are constantly changing, so there is no single answer that will cover everything. Having witnessed and intervened in these kinds of situations, here is what I would recommend.

Most vehicles float on the surface of water for 30-60 seconds. If your vehicle enters deep water, do everything you can to get out immediately. If possible, get out of the vehicle through the open windows before the water reaches window level.

If your vehicle is submerged, try not to panic. The vehicle doors cannot be opened until the water pressure inside the car is equal to the pressure outside. When the vehicle is completely filled, the doors can be opened, if there is no structural damage.

The weight of the engine will cause the front of the car to sink first. The rear cabin can provide an air pocket while you plan your escape strategy. If there are other people in the vehicle, determine their condition and try to get out of the vehicle together.

I would advise everyone to take swimming lessons. It’s a life skill that can save your life and someone else’s.

You can avoid a ticket — and an accident — if you just buckle up, drive at safe speeds, be careful, and always drive sober. Help us lead Minnesota to zero deaths. If you have any questions regarding Minnesota traffic laws or issues, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or contact him at, [email protected])