Study: Laminated Car Windows Difficult to Break in Emergencies

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July 26, 2019—In an emergency situation, it might be harder to break the glass of the side windows according to a recent study by AAA, as noted by CNET.

Part of the reason for that is that many cars on sale today no longer have tempered glass side windows, having switched to laminated glass for safety reasons. The other reason is that some of the glass-breaking tools being sold just don't work as advertised.

Increasingly manufacturers have switched to laminated glass, which has been commonly used in windshields for decades, because of its ability to resist breakage on impact. This strength is desirable because the federal government found a surprising amount of drivers and passengers being ejected from their vehicles in a crash and changed the vehicle standards to try and reduce that number. 

Unfortunately, the side effect is that in situations where breaking the side window to escape a vehicle is necessary, the laminated glass is proving too resistant. 

For its study, AAA tested six different emergency tools, three of which were hammer-types and three being spring-loaded. Only four of the six tools were able to break the tempered glass, and none were able to break the laminated glass. It also found that the spring type was more effective more of the time in the tempered glass tests.


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