Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions
Reload this Page >

Car electrical failure causes man to drown.

The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

Car electrical failure causes man to drown.

Old 27th Mar 2021, 12:22
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,141
Car electrical failure causes man to drown.

Not exactly an aeronautical subject for PPRuNe but worth heeding the lesson. Headlines in newspaper on Friday. "Man drowns while on phone to rescuers" The man died when he drove into a flood-affected area in Glenorie in Sydney's northwest at 6am on Wednesday. He is suspected to have become trapped when the electrical system failed in his Toyota Camry. The poor bugger spent 45 minutes trying to escape from his car. Seems the cars windows and door opening system failed to operate without electrical power. He was drowned.

You would have thought the vehicle's design team would have foreseen the possibility of electrical failure and designed a manual override system. If nothing else, an internally installed window breaking escape tool like some RAAF aircraft used to have in the cockpit. At least in commercial airliners there are escape hatches and cockpit manually opening windows. Anyone buying cars that can trap the occupants in event of an electrical failure needs to think what happens if their family is in the car
Centaurus is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 12:51
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,610
Alright Iíll bite.
How about the obvious.
How about NOT driving through a flooded area?
Breaking a window?
B2N2 is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 13:16
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: by the seaside
Age: 71
Posts: 962
Friend waited for the wind to drop before paragliding with radio and driving lights on. Had to get the breakdown services to jump the electrical system via the lighting system to get out.
blind pew is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 13:40
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: France
Posts: 506
Modern problems require modern solutions.


Last edited by Senior Pilot; 28th Mar 2021 at 09:42. Reason: Fix image link
KayPam is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 14:06
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Age: 56
Posts: 171
I doubt the doors wouldn't open due to the electrics, I can't recall any car that uses only electrics to activate the door lock, they all use a cable to the internal handle which over rides the locking actuator - precisely for that reason. However, breaking the windows from the inside is very difficult, & the pressure from the water against the door may well make exiting impossible - but that's the same with any car, not just a Camry.
alfaman is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 16:08
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: somerset
Posts: 94
Roll seat back as far as it will go, raise feet to windscreen, bl**dy hard double foot kick. Rinse and repeat until happy.

If you canít raise your feet to the windscreen, take off a seat headrest, hold one of the metal supports and hit the other as hard as you can close into a corner of the windscreen until it breaks (so the point of the support hits the glass) then push and shove the main part of the windscreen out.
garyscott is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 16:47
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: north pole
Posts: 71
Does appear to be a sorry situation...

Thank you for bringing the subject up. Will have to keep it in the back of consciousness should something start going wrong with the car.

Maybe there needs to be a QRH with memory items for specific models of automobiles.
70 Mustang is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 18:29
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: The No Transgression Zone
Posts: 2,408
This is scary. Provide your car with a window breaker. Go to the back window, there will be an air bubble because the car will sink front end first...wait until the pressure equalizes and either smash the window or open up the door... Swim upawards.
Pugilistic Animus is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 18:39
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 19,252
All cars are required these days to have a built in boot release, the Camry has one, but you would need to access the boot, some have folding seats (released from the boot ) so I would attempt to cut through a seat back of rip it fwd then access the release, even 9nce in the boot you could access tools the break a window.... the other would be to tear the door card off and gain access to the lock or the window mechanism.... poor sod, it must have been a nightmare.
NutLoose is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 20:20
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Everywhere
Posts: 491
I have a ball pien hammer beside the drivers seat. I got the idea from the RAAF about 50 years ago,

CC
Checklist Charlie is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 21:13
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: California
Posts: 327
You want something with a sharp point to break tempered glass. All my cars carry a spring loaded center punch in the center console.
MarcK is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 21:25
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Southern Hemisphere
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by MarcK View Post
You want something with a sharp point to break tempered glass. All my cars carry a spring loaded center punch in the center console.
Yes, Mythbusters tested the center punch and found it to be very effective. They also tested several scenarios of cars falling into water and found them to be marginally survivable at best, and the worst case, with a car tumbling in flood water was deemed not survivable.

You can break a window but you have to get everybody out of the car, in dirty, possibly dark conditions, before they drown.

Its a mess.
segfault is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 21:39
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: The No Transgression Zone
Posts: 2,408
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...MZ32p-dYPzLcKm
Pugilistic Animus is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2021, 00:07
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Here
Posts: 818
Originally Posted by Checklist Charlie View Post
I have a ball pien hammer beside the drivers seat. I got the idea from the RAAF about 50 years ago
I nearly knocked my teeth out with a ball pien hammer. With a normal, although forceful, hammering action I struck a car windscreen with it, the hammer bounced off and whizzed past my ear. The windscreen was undamaged.

For toughened glass you need a sharp and hard point. You can buy dedicated escape tools or as mentioned an automatic centre punch is reputed to work.

With a windscreen or other window with a rubber retainer you can push them out with your feet. Many are glued in now though and I have no experience of those.
jimjim1 is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2021, 00:49
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Northern Victoria
Age: 78
Posts: 18
While it is a sad outcome, we have this situation occur every time there is flooding. People are told, over and over, and over, do NOT drive into flood waters. It still occurs, you cant prevent stupidity.
Cat3508 is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2021, 02:23
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: australia
Posts: 39
Here is a Idea about using the headrest if its one of the removable types


https://only1autoglass.com/Blog/entr...m%20the%20door.
A681001 is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2021, 02:38
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Everett, WA
Age: 65
Posts: 3,196
Originally Posted by segfault View Post
Yes, Mythbusters tested the center punch and found it to be very effective. They also tested several scenarios of cars falling into water and found them to be marginally survivable at best, and the worst case, with a car tumbling in flood water was deemed not survivable.

You can break a window but you have to get everybody out of the car, in dirty, possibly dark conditions, before they drown.

Its a mess.
One of the things Mythbusters found was that cars seldom sink right side up - they tend to flip over. Although Adam Savage (one of the MB hosts) was able to escape from the car when upright by waiting until the car flooded and the pressure equalized, when it was upside down he became sufficiently disoriented that he needed to take the emergency breather from the rescue driver in the back seat before he was able to escape.
After watching that episode, I went out and bought several of those rescue tools and put on in each of my vehicles...
tdracer is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2021, 04:46
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 866

I have one of these in both my planes & both my cars, $17, Ebay-)
machtuk is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2021, 05:05
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 75
Might add here that police have since revised the timeline, claiming he wasn't on the phone with a dispatcher for 45 minutes...it was more like 3.5 minutes before the line cut out according to them.

As for breaking a window, fair few newer cars now come with laminated front side windows and dang near all cars here downunder has some kind of tint applied. So even if you can shatter the window it might still stick together.

And sadly this kind of thing happens every time we have a flood, this one would be #1 out of 3 this time around (3rd still haven't been found but her car turned up as the water started going down).
SnowFella is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2021, 05:15
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Japan
Posts: 785
Sometimes over a bad line a report might sound like "45 minutes", when it was actually "four to five minutes".
jolihokistix is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.