RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Knowing the type of glass your car windows are made of can mean the difference between life and death.
There are two common types — tempered glass is designed to easily shatter into small, virtually harmless pieces. Laminated glass is more than one pane of glass joined together with a layer of plastic. It is harder to break and designed to prevent ejections during a crash.
Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA, said the laminated glass is becoming more common in vehicles.
“The reason why is because it actually is a really good safety component,” Arnette said.
She said one in three vehicles made in 2018 has laminated glass. However, laminated glass has some downsides too.
Arnette said in the case of your car being submerged in water, or in other dangerous situations like trying to get a child or animal out of a hot car, unbuckle your seat belt and roll down the window if possible.
If you cannot roll down the window, your best bet is to break the glass with a springboard emergency escape tool.
“Put it in the corner of the tempered glass and it will release a spike to break the window,” said Arnette.
However, the tool will not work with laminated glass.
“In our studies, we found that you cannot break the laminated glass with any tool,” Arnette said.
To figure out which type of glass your car windows have, look on the corner of the windows for an etching that says, “laminated” or “tempered.” Even if your car has laminated windows, it will also most likely have one that is tempered.
“At least one on your vehicle, a side window, usually is tempered,” said Arnette.