AUSTIN (KXAN) — Amid a recent stint of flashing flooding in Central Texas, Austinites are reminded to stay vigilant during severe weather episodes. But what should you do if your vehicle gets caught in flood waters?
Do not attempt to drive through flooded roadways — even as little as six inches of water can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, according to reporting from Forbes advisor. Remember: Turn around and don’t drown.
But should you find yourself in a flash flood situation, the top of the priority list is to exit your car immediately and seek higher ground.
However, if your car is submerged in water, you will need to wait for the water pressure to become equalized between the inside and outside of the vehicle, according to Reliance General Insurance. Stay calm and, once the water reaches neck level, open the door to exit.
If you catch it early before your car is submerged in water, you can also try to gradually lower your window. Once it’s opened, climb out. Have your seat belt unbuckled and doors unlocked, as well as an external jackets or outer clothing removed, to prep yourself.
If you can’t roll down your window and your car is taking on water, try and locate any sharp, blunt object in your vehicle — like an umbrella, hammer or a removable headrest — to help smash your way out.
Don’t turn your engine on if your vehicle is stuck in water. That can lead to “hydro lock,” causing water damage to engine pistons, per Go Mechanic.
If you are swept into fast-moving water, point your feet downstream and try to go over objects like tree branches, as opposed to under them, per Forbes Advisor. It’s also important to seek out higher elevation, such as a building or tree, and remain there until rescue services arrive.