When Louisiana drivers think about car accidents, they usually consider collisions between vehicles. They may not consider what might happen if their car becomes submerged in water during the accident. It is important for people to know what to do if they find themselves in this situation, as well as how this situation can occur.
NationalTrialLawyers.org says that roughly 400 people die in a submerged vehicle each year, making this kind of single-vehicle accident the most fatal. Many of the people killed in these incidents die not from trauma they sustain but from drowning. Cars can become submerged because of the way they are designed. Cars with different designs provide varying amounts of time for people to open the windows to escape and also may float longer.
Because of these design differences, new guidelines were implemented in September 2017 to ensure that people will be able to escape from their car if it is submerged. These guidelines determine the kind of glass used in car windows, as well as how long power windows continue to operate.
When people realize their vehicle might become submerged, it is important for them to know how to escape from the car. According to The Washington Post, people should open their car windows as soon as they can. While they might want to open a door, they should typically wait. This is because when a car first enters water, the water exerts so much pressure that people are usually unable to open a door. Instead, people should keep their seat belt on and hold their breath. Once people begin holding their breath, the pressure outside the car usually reaches the pressure inside, allowing someone to open the door. If people cannot open a door, they should generally break one of the side windows.