Have you ever thought what may occur if you were stuck in your vehicle? What if you ran off the road and began to sink in a body of water? What would you do, if you knew? Could you shatter a window in order to escape?
These questions are at the core of a AAA investigation. The report examines the various types of glass used in automobiles and how those types of glass can affect your chances of escaping if you must shatter a window.
The Type of Glass Matters
You may not even be aware, but the windshield glass and window glass in your vehicle may be distinct. Some may be tempered glass, while others may be laminated. Laminated glass is designed not to shatter, even in a collision, to reduce the likelihood that a passenger may be ejected.
This is significant because you may not be able to leave in an emergency, even if you have car escape kits meant to assist you. The majority of car escape tools were efficient in breaking tempered glass, but not laminated glass, according to the AAA study. In fact, none of the tools examined in the study were capable of entirely penetrating laminated glass; a handful were only capable of spiderwebbing the glass.
In response to federal safety rules, a growing number of new automobiles have shifted from employing tempered side glass windows to laminated side glass windows (as much as one-third of 2018 vehicles). Yet research conducted by AAA indicates that consumers may be unaware of the shift.
Car Escape Tools
Even if the study indicates that car escape tools are not always useful, you should still keep one in your vehicle. the opposite is true Greg Brannon, director of automotive engineering and industry relations at AAA, said in an email, “AAA recommends a spring-loaded tool because some of the hammer tools we tested cracked upon impact with the glass.” Remember that your chosen instrument will only be effective for breaking tempered glass.
These gadgets are particularly useful if your seat belt release does not function. Certain automobile escape tools, such as those manufactured by resqme, feature blades that allow you to quickly and safely cut your seat belt, as opposed to struggling with a buckle that may not open.
Benjamin Duprat, digital media analyst for resqme, said via email, “We always recommend that customers test the resqme on a notepad to ensure that the inner spring-loaded mechanism works.” “Upon pressing the tool’s head onto the notepad, the user should hear a small ‘click’ and see a small hole created by the blade on the surface.”
According to AAA, you may also try the tool on a soft piece of wood, and you’ll know it works if it creates an indentation. Duprat also recommends that people view online tutorials to familiarize themselves with the product prior to needing to utilize it.
So How Do You Escape a Sinking Car?
Here comes the terrifying part. What should you do if you are involved in an accident that requires you to abandon your vehicle, especially if it is sinking in water? Duprat emphasizes that survival is contingent on having a plan in place – initially.
This requires knowing beforehand what type of glass your car’s driver-side window is made of. If it does not roll down, you will need to exit through another window if it is laminated. AAA’s Brannon explains that, if your vehicle has only laminated glass, it is imperative to roll down a window immediately.
AAA and resqme both advocate the S-U-R-E technique as a simple way to remember what to do in such a situation:
- Remain calm
- Unbuckle or cut your seat belt if it is jammed.
- Reduce or destroy windows
- Leave the vehicle immediately (help children out first)
Do not dial 911 until you have departed the area. Prior to water reaching the bottom of the passenger windows, you have around 30 to 60 seconds, thus time is of the essential.
It is frightening to consider the potential that you may need to prepare for an incident that traps you in your vehicle, but experts believe that it is best to face the risk. If you have a tool within easy reach and some knowledge of what to do, you’ll save precious seconds that could be the difference between exiting your automobile and being trapped within.