Auto Glass: How to Break It in an Emergency

Car accidents happen with alarming frequency. Based on car insurance industry data, you will file an accident claim once every 18 years. As of 2014, the average lifespan of a United States citizen is 78.8 years. Given that most people get a driver's license at the age of 16, you will have about 3.5 reportable accidents in your lifetime.

It is a good idea to be prepared for all accident scenarios, no matter if the likelihood of being in a situation is low. One such situation is being trapped inside a car and needing to break the window to get out. This could occur for a variety of reasons:

  • You flipped your car and are unable to open the door from the inside.

  • You were t-boned, bending the driver's door so much that it doesn't open.

  • You drove into a body of water and the pressure won't allow the door to open.

Before you learn how to break the windows of your car, remember these few items:

Tip #1 - You want to break one of the side windows, not the windshield. The windshield is stronger than the side windows, so it will be more difficult to break.

Tip #2 - Car windows are made of safety glass or tempered glass, which is not sharp and will not break into large pieces. Instead, if broken, tempered glass will break into small pieces about the size of rock salt. So don't worry about getting cut when you break your car's window.

There are several easy ways that you can break the window glass to escape your car.

  • Use your car's headrest

If your car has a removable headrest, this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to break your window. Simply remove the headrest from your seat and push one of the metal pegs from the headrest into the space where your window retracts (where the window goes down into the door). Then pull the headrest toward you. This will flex the glass, resulting in a break.

  • Find a small, pointed object

Car windows can withstand a great amount of force, but they are designed to withstand blunt forces, not the focused power and energy from a sharply pointed object. Emergency car hammers are made for this exact purpose and can be found at any local auto store. They feature a small, metal hammer that can break a car's window in one tap. A screwdriver would serve the same purpose (you could also use a flat head screwdriver to break the window in the same fashion as the removable headrest).

It is unlikely that you will ever be in a car accident that requires you to break a window to escape, but it could happen. With more cars and drivers on the road than ever before, it is important to be prepared. Keep an emergency kit within arm's reach whenever you are driving, just in case. Alternately, if you need to make any repairs to your car's glass, find a local business like Dale-Way Auto Body Center Corp.