Knowing what kind of car windows you have could be lifesaving

Knowing what kind of glass windows a car has could save a life. Too often drivers end up in one of the countless bodies of water near roads in Southwest Florida. A new warning from AAA explains not all car windows will break during an escape attempt.

MORE: AAA: Vehicle Escape Tools are a Lifesaver – in the Right Situation

For years, experts told drivers to have a window-breaking tool in the car in case of emergency. But these tools are useless if a driver is trapped in a car with windows not meant to break.

Andrea Schuch with Cape Coral Fire Department said the first move anyone should take if they are trapped in a vehicle is to take off the seat belt and roll the window down.

And Schuch said, if the window doesn’t roll down, “The escape tool is a good backup resource we want everyone to have.”

Car windows are either made with tempered glass or laminated glass. AAA tested both types with different escape tools and found tools don’t work on laminated glass.

In the corner of a car’s driver’s side window, there should be a label that denotes whether a glass window is tempered or laminate.

If the driver’s window is laminate, “You would simply crawl back to the back seat,” Schuch said.

Manufacturers make cars with driver’s side laminated windows to prevent ejections during a collision. According to AAA, one in three 2018 models have laminated windows.

If there is no sticker, check an owner’s manual and memorize where those windows are.

The video above shows us hitting the center glass to break a tempered window. But the best place to strike is the corner of a window. That’s where the glass is most vulnerable.

MORE: List of car models with laminated glass [PDF]

Reporter:Allison Gormly
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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