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Smash that glass and live, how to survive if you car stalls in high water

Posted at 6:40 PM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 14:48:29-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Where there are serious storms we're out there covering them for you-- so a quiet storm day like today is a good time to prepare for when the weather gets wild.
 
It's easy for even careful drivers to be surprised by high water, get trapped in their cars and need to be rescued. 
 
But getting out is not as simple as swinging open your car door. 
      
Here is information you need to escape----and live.
 
Every monsoon brings us moments like where the wrong move or not moving fast enough could cost a life.
        
When a modern car, with power windows stalls in rising water you need to be ready to escape from that trap.
 
So there you are in a stalled car and you are in trouble.  The water is so high the water pressure is keeping you from opening the door.  Because your engine quit your power windows won't work anymore.  Now you're probably thinking, 'I'm going to break the window.”  Hopefully you've got something in the car you can do that with like a rock.  But if you go for the center of the glass, this strong tempered glass is probably just going to flex and will not break.  So what you do instead is you cover your eyes for protection and hit down near the corner because the strong frame is channeling all that power into the glass.
       
Family Auto Body let us break out of one of their cars to send a safety message.
        
Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker met us on an ordinary looking street where firefighters had to pull a driver from dangerous deep water during a storm.
        
He says auto stores sell tools designed to break your window.
 
“It's got to be there when you need it and if we surveyed 100 people right now we would probably find three that have something inside the vehicle that they can actually use to get out and break a window if necessary."
        
And Baker says once you can get out, don't try to swim against rushing water and debris. Stay with the car.
 
 "We know where you're at if you're with the car.  And a lot of these things happen at night time and you talk about trying to find a needle in a haystack; when it is dark as night and you're going down a wash.  How can we find you at that point?"