As temperatures stay below freezing or just slightly above, the waters in the area are beginning to freeze over. That might be tempting to some daredevils who want to get out there on the ice, but it’s risky business and the Indiana State Police have some life-saving advice for anyone who may have fallen in the frigid ice.
Detective Bob May said the most important thing to keep in mind if your vehicle goes under is how to escape. He said the car will float for about two to three minutes, giving a prepared motorist plenty of time to escape.
First, he said, unroll or break your window, remove your seatbelt, and get to the top of the car.
“Chances are in Indiana, though, your car will not be completely submerged. Most retention ponds are under 10 feet deep. If you escape the car and you don’t go into the water, you get to the top of your car, you will not have to suffer from exposure to the water,” said May.
Once you are on top of your vehicle, it is important to call and wait for help on top of the vehicle, especially if it has stopped sinking. If your vehicle is going to become submerged and you are surrounded by ice, do not assume it is safe; instead, lay prone and roll your way to shore.
But if the car is not sinking and you can stay dry on top of the car, May said that’s your best bet.
“But the big thing is, roll your window down and get to the top of the car and then assess the situation and call 911. And probably some passerby is going to see you,” May said.
May said the electric windows will continue to work as the car becomes submerged until the electronics short out. It is a good idea to carry a window breaking tool, such as a ResQMe, which fits on a keychain.