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How to survive if your car goes into the water

Posted at 3:50 PM, Aug 09, 2019
and last updated 2020-02-24 09:32:03-05

After several incidents of cars going into canals and inlets in the last few weeks, it's important to know what to do if your car goes into the water.

RELATED: Woman dies after plunging vehicle into Intracoastal Waterway in Boynton Beach

The Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County said they work to educate the public on what to do if their car ever ends up in a body of water.

“Motor vehicle crashes in canals is the third leading cause of drownings in this county,” said manager Anna Stewart.

Seconds count when a car goes into the water and knowing what to do is critical.

“Seatbelt off, window open, children out. SWCO: seatbelt, windows, children, out,” said Stewart. “You do not, I repeat do not call 911 if this happens because it will waste energy and time you do not have.”

RELATED: Woman dies after car crashes into pond in suburban West Palm Beach

Diane Hennesy with DPC demonstrated how to use a center punch device to check cut your seatbelt if you are stuck, the center punch will also break the window if the windows will not roll down.

There are several different tools to use to break a car window, and Stewart said it must be kept in a place that is accessible from the driver seat.

“If you are stuck in your seatbelt, you are not going to be able to reach your glove box or trunk,” she added.

Stewart also said to double-check the type of glass your car windows are made of. Laminated glass, like your front window, will not break with a center punch tool.