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Old 10th August 2019, 16:28   #1
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Default Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

Hey guys, I wanted to mention this as I came across this thread.

My friend's brother, around 37, wife and two kids was driving from Hyderabad to Goa. He is meeting up with his wife and kids there as his work is also in Goa. 3 days ago they lost contact as to where he is and they figured out it was in Belgaum area, Karnataka where there were floods. They could'nt identify the location as the area is flooded and there's still rain the past few days.

The car was found today morning with him wearing his seat belt. Eye witness say he was trying to steer the car as it was drifting away and he also tried to open the back door. He is an extremely safe person, matured and he seems to be like someone who is prepared to act on situations like these but unfortunately it didn't work out this time.

I didn't want to discuss in detail regarding what could have happened as my friend is shattered and so is his family. They are bringing him home tomorrow. I was just trying to think as to why he would be wearing the seat belt as the car is sinking or drifting away. Initially I thought may be he would have had an impact and fainted but eye witnesses say he was trying to gain control of the car.

Is there a possibility of the seat locking or jammed in water or that his door couldn't have opened and why he would have tried to open the back door?

I'm sorry to bring this up here but thought you guys would know better considering it is the same vehicle. Either way it is sad and extremely unfortunate.
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Old 12th August 2019, 15:19   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetvar26 View Post
Hey guys, I wanted to mention this as I came across this thread.

My friend's brother, around 37, wife and two kids was driving from Hyderabad to Goa. He is meeting up with his wife and kids there as his work is also in Goa. 3 days ago they lost contact as to where he is and they figured out it was in Belgaum area, Karnataka where there were floods. They could'nt identify the location as the area is flooded and there's still rain the past few days.
Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and friends. Although we don't know for sure what happened, It is very much possible that the seat belts jammed along/or with doors. There was this horrible incident in Bangalore wherein a child and her mother were burnt alive as they were trapped inside their car when a fire broke out although the vehicle was a different make. Any idea if the car had any out of factory fitments like lights etc? They say such unauthorised fitments overwhelm the car ECU and can cause such incidents.

Last edited by GTO : 12th August 2019 at 17:08. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 12th August 2019, 17:09   #3
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

Sweetvar26, our condolences. Moving to new thread as this issue needs to be discussed.
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Old 12th August 2019, 17:15   #4
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

Our condolences to the family of the departed person.

This must be incident with the Isuzu V-Cross, which was swept away in the floods. From what I have read, locals were shouting when he started to cross the water. Looks like he had the windows up and could not hear the locals shouting. Or he ignored it and continued, misjudging the water levels and strength of the currents.
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Originally Posted by sweetvar26 View Post
The car was found today morning with him wearing his seat belt. Eye witness say he was trying to steer the car as it was drifting away and he also tried to open the back door..
The above is contradictory. While wearing the seat-belt one cannot reach the back doors. And if he had opened the belt to reach the back door, then not sure why he would go back to wearing the belt - and how, considering the vehicle is no longer in a stable position when being pushed by the water.

Last edited by condor : 12th August 2019 at 17:24.
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Old 12th August 2019, 17:28   #5
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetvar26 View Post

Is there a possibility of the seat locking or jammed in water or that his door couldn't have opened and why he would have tried to open the back door?

I'm sorry to bring this up here but thought you guys would know better considering it is the same vehicle. Either way it is sad and extremely unfortunate.
First of all our condolences. The experience is totally scattering when it happens with someone you know.

Seat belts lockup if the car is in a wrong angle that means getting out would be a problem. While driving in Shimla the seatbelts in Octavia also lockup when the car is parked on a sharp angle road "Like Jakhu". There is a window shatter cum seat belt cutter tool that is a must now a days.

That tool saves lives exactly in such situations.
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Old 12th August 2019, 17:39   #6
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

Very sad to hear of this tragic death. Condolences to the young family.

Hard to say what happened other than make an educated guess. The water may have short circuited the electrical loops that provide Central locking - just a guess; also we should not underestimate the force of flowing water preventing human muscle from opening a door; also the sheer speed with which flowing water envelopes a space can be in seconds. Water and fire become dangerous when we forget they are water and fire.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 12th August 2019 at 18:31. Reason: Minor typo.
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Old 12th August 2019, 17:55   #7
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

On 31-July-2019, Vadodara city got heavy rainfall.
I had to abandon my Swift and walk around 2 kms. to reach home.
Fortunately, for me my car's electricals were working including wipers, lights and locks, but then my car wasn't swept away or was that deeply submerged in flood but footwell was definitely inundated with water.

The moment I got out from the car after safely parking it on higher ground I realized force of water, and this was in middle of city where many bystanders were just there and around more than 50 cars stranded in water. Furthermore, when I was walking to reach home after a brief help from bus for 200 or may be 300 mtrs., a lesson was learnt about force of water. The energy required to move in water, to displace water and what its force could do. From safety of car which kept me dry to walking in waist high water at places, water has an energy that should never be ignored. With approaching darkness, it became even more difficult to gauge depth of water.

The incident about an individual losing his life in car pinpoints need of emergency equipment in the car cabin that has to be in immediate reach of occupants. Hammer, belt cutter, all in reach.

While my car is performing well as water didn't submerge the seats, my seat belt is not getting unbuckled with ease. If this can happen to my car that started next day with ease and having all electricals intact, just imagine what would have happened when a car gets swept away.
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Old 12th August 2019, 17:56   #8
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
The water may have short circuited the electrical loops that provide Central locking - just a guess; also we should not underestimate the force of flowing water preventing human muscle from opening a door;
This is the likely possibility - water short-circuiting the Power windows and central locking. Couple of videos that I have seen about such situations have shown the impossibility of pushing open the door from inside, even if the central locking was not armed. A normal human being would not be able to open the door because it is his physical strength vs the mass of water outside. Greater the depth that the car is at, greater the challenge to open the door from inside.

Instead, what was suggested is to open the windows and get out through the windows. But if the windows are also jammed, a person inside cant do much other than trying to break the glass - this would be little less difficult since the pressure of the water outside on the glass can actually help break the glass once the glass has fractured sufficiently.

Last edited by condor : 12th August 2019 at 17:58.
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Old 12th August 2019, 18:00   #9
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

A very sad incident. I feel for the family.

Few points i can share-

Avoid being the first car in a waterlogged road. See other cars to gauge the water level or if there is any ditch & then enter.

If a car is drowning do not wait to rescue the car. Get out of the car as fast as possible.

After the first 2 minutes, it becomes more difficult to come out of a drowning car. Try to escape within the first two minutes.

Do not try to open the door. It will yield more water to enter inside the car cabin faster, plus opening the door will be more tough. As you have to push the door against the gushing water. Try to escape from the window.

While entering a water logged road, i will prefer not to wear a seat belt and keep the speed sensing door lock off and the windows down. Once the water level is above the window height, any car without a snorkel will definitely fail to come out.

We may feel invincible inside a car or an suv, but in-front of natures fury it holds no chance. So be safe and avoid entering heavily waterlogged roads as much as possible.

Be very slow while entering a waterlogged road. Always keep the option open to back-out, if you feel its getting uncomfortable or the water level is increasing.

Few places which must be avoided are-

Underpasses.
When a flat road will enter any underpass, water level will increase significantly and drown the car.

Gushing water from a river
During floods we often see gushing water flowing over the road. Driving over that must be avoided. A vehicle can easily get washed away by the force of water.

Last edited by Samba : 12th August 2019 at 18:10.
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Old 12th August 2019, 18:23   #10
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetvar26 View Post
Hey guys, I wanted to mention this as I came across this thread.



I'm sorry to bring this up here but thought you guys would know better considering it is the same vehicle. Either way it is sad and extremely unfortunate.
Condolences to his family.

Were the windows open of the car? And the exhaust of car submerged?
It could be due to CO (carbon monoxide) poisoning and he fell unconscious .



After CO exposure how long do the effects last?

When people lose consciousness due to carbon monoxide poisoning, they will typically have relapses for several weeks. They will suffer from headache, fatigue, loss of memory, difficulty in thinking clearly, irrational behavior, and irritability. Recover can be slow and frustrating. Some individuals suffer permanent brain and organ damage. Victims may be highly sensitive to CO for the rest of their lives

-

Source:https://www.abe.iastate.edu/extensio...fects-aen-166/
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Old 12th August 2019, 18:24   #11
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

Which is why, in anticipation of being caught in just such a situation, I have this little gizmo dangling at the end of my car keychain. It is a combination seatbelt cutter and window glass breaker. Very handy, very effective, easy to use by anyone.
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Old 12th August 2019, 18:39   #12
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

Isn't seat belt release a mechanical switch? I know that the mechanism have sensors to read whether seat belt is latched or not.

How does a seat belt get locked?
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Old 12th August 2019, 19:49   #13
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

Condolences on the loss.

As to driving on flooded roads, assuming I have no choice but to drive through them, I do the following before entering the water:

1. Revv high, drive slow to avoid creating a wake. Wakes are dangerous to other low vehicles around you, and even to yourself if done in constricted space where the wave bounces back off other surfaces.
2. Unfasten seat-belts.
3. Wind down at least one window fully.
4. Unlock doors, and leave at least one door ajar (free of its latch but not open wide) so if the electronics malfunction, at least one door won't be jammed.

2, 3 & 4 seem counter-intuitive because anyone would be loath to get their car wet and some would feel you're just leaving more ways for water to get in, but cars aren't sealed shut so water would get in anyway, if only at a slower rate. Your top priority should be to leave yourself a way out if you need to abandon the car. A wet/flooded car can always be retrieved, dried out, repaired, or discarded later. Your priority should be to stay safe/alive.

P.S. Never, EVER, try to drive through flowing water (flooded river or similar). Rushing water has momentum and is far more dangerous than standing water, and it doesn't take much to lose traction. Once you've lost your contact patch with the road, you're a passenger.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 12th August 2019 at 19:58.
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Old 12th August 2019, 20:20   #14
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

This is a point that car designers really should take into account better. If a car has an electrical blackout, the doors should still open in the most intuitive way because it could be a panic situation.

In VAG cars, the doors can never be locked from the inside except using the child lock. Hence, there are at least two doors which will always open with just a tug on the handle.
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Old 12th August 2019, 20:20   #15
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Default Re: Man found dead, buckled up in driver's seat - What to do if you see a flooded road?

Condolences to the family and friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
2. Unfasten seat-belts.
3. Wind down at least one window fully.

Never, EVER, try to drive through flowing water (flooded river or similar).
You are bang on. An illustrative video of all you said.



We have only seconds between life and death. Never try to steer through flowing water rather unlatch seatbelt, roll down windows and escape. In some cars such as VW, rear windows wont roll down completely. So got to be more assertive.

All said, when panic strikes, even trivial things would seem monumental.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 12th August 2019 at 20:24.
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