FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Halfway through 2022 so far, Arkansas has had numerous storms that led to flooding across multiple areas.

Many times during these floods, motorists will attempt to drive through the water to reach their destination, causing their vehicles to get stuck and/or damaged.

Pafford Medical Services issued a release Wednesday, June 29 giving advice on how drivers should approach flooded waters and what to do if they happen to find themselves stuck.

According to cars.com, drivers should do the following:

  • Stay Calm
  • Turn on your headlights/hazard lights
  • Unbuckle your seat belt
  • Unlock your doors
  • Take jackets and outer clothing off
  • Lower your window slowly. (Most electric windows should work unless the car is completely submerged in water.)
  • If you can’t lower the windows, climb out. Get to high ground and call 911.
  • If the windows won’t open, use a door to get out. (You won’t be able to open a door until the water pressure is equalized between the outside and the inside of the car. This means you’ll have to wait until the water is up to your neck level before they will open.) When the doors open, swim to safety and call 911.

Drivers should not do:

  • Panic
  • Do not use your energy trying to open the doors because water pressure will keep them from budging (wait for the pressure to equalize).
  • Do not try to save your possessions.
  • Do not try to break windows to get out. If the water pressure has not equalized, glass will explode inward toward you or other occupants.
  • Once out, do not stay with your car. Move to high ground.
  • Do not stand on the roof of your car. You could be swept away.
  • Do not return to your car if you think the water level is going down. Water levels could rise again without warning. Allow emergency personnel to tow your vehicle to a safe place.

According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), just six inches of water can impact steering control when water just reaches the bottom of most passenger vehicles. One foot of flooding water can cause many vehicles to float away, and two feet of flood water is enough to sweep away most vehicles; even SUVs and pick-up trucks.