(WDVM) — A report released by AAA said that more cars are using side windows that can not be broken if a person is trapped inside the car.
Side windows were traditionally made out of tempered glass, which will shatter if it is punctured, while windshields were made out of laminated glass, which is composed of two layers of glass and one layer of plastic and will not shatter. Some car manufacturers have started using this laminated glass for the side windows as well to address people injured after being thrown out of shattered car windows.
AAA’s report said that one in three 2018 models have laminated side windows, but most cars have at least one window made from tempered glass.
Jonathan Hart, the assistant director with Washington County Fire Services, said that while laminated glass will break upon impact, it will not shatter or give someone who might be trapped an escape route from the car.
“Many new vehicles historically laminated glass was only the windshield of the vehicle, we had tempered glass on the sides of the vehicle, tempered glass is different in that, once you poke a hole in it with some type of device, the whole window shatters,” Hart said.
AAA recommends that drivers remember what types of glass their windows are made of, keep an escape tool to break the window and plan an exit strategy. If people are trapped underwater, AAA notes that a spring-loaded tool is more effective.
AAA and fire response officials said that if you are trapped in a car, you should first unbuckle your seatbelt before trying to roll down your car window. If that does not work, then take steps to break the glass where possible.