Motorists urged to have safety hammer
Safety experts at the Dutch Safety Research Institute have found that electric window systems found in almost all car models stop working within a few seconds after the system is submerged in water.
Without specialist equipment, it can be nearly impossible to escape from a car which has entered deep water.
News of the research comes after a drowning tragedy in Co Donegal when five members of a Londonderry family died when their car entered Lough Swilly at a slipway in Buncrana.
According to Life Saver Products which makes safety equipment, 30% of cars in the Netherlands are equipped with a safety hammer to break glass in emergency situations.
This is because approximately 700 vehicle accidents a year in the Netherlands involve submersion in water, with 50 resulting in fatalities.
They account for 16.5% of the total number of car fatalities.
Experts recommend all drivers here carry a tool capable of breaking toughened car windows in the unlikely event of entering water.