Emergency Auto Glass Breakage: Why It’s Important to Know How

November 23, 2023
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Knowing how to break a car window in the event of an emergency could quite literally mean the difference between life and death. It might seem scary, but being prepared is better than something far worse. 

Firstly, remain calm. Then, knowing how to break a car window in an emergency requires answering four questions. Are you inside or outside of the vehicle? Do you have tools? What kind of glass are you dealing with? Finally, where are the weak spots? 

Once you have answered these questions, react quickly and do your best. 

Are You Inside or Outside of the Vehicle?

If a child or pet is trapped inside a car during extreme heat, you must look for an external tool to break the window. On the other hand, knowing how to break a car window from the inside is essential if an accident or flood has you trapped inside. In such scenarios, items like the metal ends of a headrest or seatbelt buckle can be handy. Constantly assess your surroundings to determine the best course of action.

Do You Have the Tools? 

Remember this when searching for a makeshift tool: it should be sharp and heavy. These two attributes are essential for a tool effective at breaking or cracking the glass. Scan the area for a substantial rock or any weighty object if you’re outside.

When inside, you can use parts of the car itself. For instance, detach the headrest, insert its metal rods into the gap where the glass meets the door frame, and then yank it towards you.

Tools to invest in: 

  • Spark plug
    • This is a tiny device made of aluminum oxide ceramic. It will break a car window immediately when thrown. The sharp point focuses energy into a single area of the glass and will cause a crack. 
  • Emergency window hammer
    • The window hammer has a sharp tip and usually has a seatbelt cutter in the handle. 
  • Spring-loaded window punch
    • Like the spark plug breaking glass, the spring-loaded window punch is small but packs a punch. 

What Kind of Glass Are You Dealing With? 

Modern cars have two different glass types. The windshield is laminated glass, while the rear and back windows are tempered. 

Laminated glass is more challenging to break because it is composed of two panes of glass with a reinforcement of plastic material between them. 

While tempered glass is much easier to crack, car windows generally are made to resist blunt force trauma. So do not punch the glass with your fist. You will experience more damage than the window.

Where Are The Weak Spots? 

How to break a car window can be daunting. 

If you’re inside the vehicle, begin with the driver or passenger’s window. Focus your tool along the edges and progress toward the center. Tempered glass windows have their strongest reinforcement in the center, so weakening the edges first proves more effective.

Once the window has shattered, use your feet to kick the glass away. Please do not use your hands unless they are wrapped in cloth to protect them. 

The Aftermath

Regrettably, a car subjected to severe fire or flood damage might be beyond repair. However, the silver lining is that if you’re considering your new car options, it means you’ve made it through safely.

However, if the car is salvageable and has only suffered the broken window, bring it to an auto glass specialist for restoration. After the break and subsequent escape, there’s likely shattered glass strewn inside the car’s cabin. 

They’ll know how to collect all of it and improve your situation. 

The Professional?

Let Kryger Glass take the wheel. Our dedicated glass experts have been in the field for over sixty years. Protection and safety are things you expect from a windshield, and Kryger Glass thinks so, too. At affordable rates for high-quality service, we’re your best option for glass repair and replacement, so you don’t have to stress about the aftermath next time you break a car window in an emergency
Check our website for a Kryger Glass in your area and receive a quote today.

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