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Old 12-16-2021, 08:09 PM   #1
Diver1111
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Default Driving cars & trucks on ice

As winter approaches I thought Iíd post a link to a man in Kennebunkport ME-Gerry Dworkin-who is an expert in a variety of water rescue and recovery related tools and techniques.

One article he wrote I thought was very good and I post it for readers who venture on to ice in cars or trucks.

https://lifesaving.com/issues-safety...rged-vehicles/

One general rule of vehicles going into water is this: If the length of the vehicle is less than the depth of the water, expect the vehicle to flip and land on its roof. Will this happen every single time? Of course not but 90% of the vehicles I have dived on or seen on side scan sonar are upside down so draw your own conclusions. Plan on it happening.

Of course the front end sinks first and once this movement begins the momentum allows it to keep going and starts to tilt towards flipping on to the roof. Once you hit the bottom youíre upside down, presumably in total darkness or near to it, in 35-45 degree water which is coming in to the vehicle.

If it doesnít flip the odds of getting out of the vehicle increase dramatically but you are still in big big trouble and still face a high risk of death and an ugly one at that. For example if the doors are closed and the windows are up, you cannot open the doors due to water pressure.

Even if youíre right-side-up on the bottom the vehicle can easily be sunk in the mud past the running boards so you still cannot open the doors.

Lastly Gerry mentions tools to break windows. If the glass is tempered various tools can break it. Some are sold at Walmart and auto stores and can include built-in seat belt cutters.

Laminated glass is used more and more these days and according to Gerry-whom I asked this question of-CANNOT be broken-there is no way to get past it. For this reason, tempered or not if you have the time consider rolling down windows. Tempered glass is really strong and without a tool to break it it might as well be laminated glass.

Getting back to the surface if you do escape has other implications I won't get into.

Have a plan-some kind of plan-to deal with going through the ice.
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Old 12-16-2021, 08:31 PM   #2
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For me to drive my vehicle on a frozen body of water the ice must span from top to bottom.

The risk is there and for me the reward is not.
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Old 12-16-2021, 10:30 PM   #3
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Back in October 23, 1983, NBC News anchor Jessica Savitch (and her guest) both drowned after she accidentally drove into a canal.

He was found still strapped in, and she had attempted to get out. Obviously neither made it.

One has to wonder if things would have turned out differently if they had a cutting device in the car to cut the seat belt or smash the glass.

These devices are inexpensive and available for purchase. Suggest leaving such a device in the vehicle at all times in case of an emergency.

And please, don't drive on the ice!
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Old 12-17-2021, 01:08 AM   #4
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If itís 2-3ft thick and 50 Ford F-150ís out there itís pretty safe if you use common sense. A lot of winters lately it has not hit that thick. In some places roads open up that are on ice that run 18 wheelers.

But keep in mind if you have problems out there you are probably not covered.

I used to go Ice racing with my Audi on the lake years ago. Lot of fun.

Donít go near moving water
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Old 12-17-2021, 05:48 PM   #5
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Default Driving on ice

Very good post, Diver1111, thanks for the reminder of the dangers involved. Personally, I don't ice fish, snowmobile, or drive recreationally on the ice, but all winter long there are stories of vehicles going through the ice. In deference to those who do go through the ice, I will withhold any comment about causes involved, and, instead, urge all ice travelers to exercise extreme caution when on the ice.
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Old 12-18-2021, 01:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mswlogo View Post
But keep in mind if you have problems out there you are probably not covered.
I've never had the need or desire to drive anything heavier than a snowmobile on the ice (yes, I know there are many potential issues there if you are not safe and knowledgeable). But I've often heard conflicting information on whether a vehicle is covered if it goes through the ice, not to mention the recovery and environmental charges.

I'm guessing it probably varies based on the company and policies, but any input from experts who would know?
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Old 12-18-2021, 02:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrymeeting View Post
I've never had the need or desire to drive anything heavier than a snowmobile on the ice (yes, I know there are many potential issues there if you are not safe and knowledgeable). But I've often heard conflicting information on whether a vehicle is covered if it goes through the ice, not to mention the recovery and environmental charges.

I'm guessing it probably varies based on the company and policies, but any input from experts who would know?
I can tell you years ago our delivery trucks were covered because I specifically asked my agent that. We did make deliveries a few times but it made me very nervous and we eventually stopped.
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Old 12-18-2021, 05:41 PM   #8
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Does insurance cover cars falling through the ice? ...... https://carinsurance.com/Articles/ca...rough-ice.aspx

'Comprehensive coverage usually pays for it unless it was your intention to fall your car through the ice plus some policies will have an exclusion for falling through the ice.'
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