What other measures are possible?


Obviously, the best solution to prevent casualties of submerged vehicle crashes would be to make them physically impossible (also see the question How to prevent casualties of submerged vehicle crashes? ). Infrastructural measures, for example by shielding the water by means of barriers, are therefore most effective. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) or a Lane Keeping System (LKS), which warns or steers back vehicles threatening to leave their lanes, may also prevent submerged vehicle crashes. For more information, see SWOV fact sheet Intelligent transport and advanced driver assistance systems (ITS and ADAS).

a test was done with a window that automatically opens upon contact with water or opens when the car remains afloat in an upright position. The underlying assumption is that, in case of stress, panic or ignorance, occupants may forget what to do but will be reminded of the need for a speedy exit by the automatically opening window. In addition, the open windows may enable possible bystanders to help occupants escape. However, the pilot concerned a prototype which has not yet been further developed or documented.

Finally, a minimum vehicle requirement should be that door locks and electric windows always keep functioning; also in submerging vehicles. At present, there is no regulation concerning this requirement, whereas a relatively simple adjustment could facilitate direct window control instead of use of the water-sensitive CAN-bus [15].

Part of fact sheet

Submerged vehicle crashes

In the Netherlands, on average, more than 50 people die every year in a submerged vehicle crash. More than two thirds die from drowning.

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