Getting trapped inside your own car is a scary situation to imagine. Yet there are several cases every year where people get trapped inside their cars due to various reasons and unfortunately, a few die in such cases. Just a few weeks back, a Mahindra Scorpio was trapped in floodwater in Mumbai and two people died inside the SUV as the windows were locked. For the same, here we are today with a few simple yet effective and life-saving methods that can be useful in case one gets trapped inside their car. The video below by Kedar TRUE TV illustrates how some of these methods are to be followed.
Breaking side window of a car with detachable headrests
This is among the oldest tricks in the book for breaking a car’s side window from the inside. If your vehicle is equipped with detachable headrests, you can pop them out and use the metal bars on the other end to break the glass open. However, the task is not as simple as said and there are a few knowhows to perform this function effectively. The side windows of a car are made using tempered glass and due to the manufacturing process of tempered glasses, they are a bit weak on the sides compared to the centre.
Therefore, instead of banging the metal rods of the headrest on the window, try to hit the edge of the glass with them. You can also use the ‘pry open’ technique where one of the metal rods is inserted in the area where the glass goes down in the door and then apply force. This will result in cracking of the glass from the side which can eventually be broken much easily. Also, headrests are not present in the car for the sole purpose of breaking windows, something which has become a common myth these days. This method is just one of the little hacks that gradually come up with time.
Breaking the side window of a car with non-detachable headrests/single piece seats
In case your car has single-piece seats that don’t have headrests or have integrated headrests or you own a high-end car with electronic headrests, there are other ways to break open your car’s windows. One can use the metal end of the seat belt’s hook and try to break the side window glass. Though this might not be as effective as using headrests, there is still a good chance that you are able to crack the window if you follow the method described in the above point. The trick is to hit the edge of the glass and try to pry it from the side, which usually results in a crack that can then be widened.
Breaking the front windshield in case the side windows are blocked by other cars/obstacles
If you are caught in a really unfortunate situation where the way out through the side windows is blocked by other vehicles or any other obstacle even if you break open the window, the front windshield is the target to hit. However, the front and rear windshields are much stronger than the windows on the side. They are made up of laminated glass where two layers of glasses sandwich between themselves a layer of Polyvinyl butyral (PVB). This makes them very strong as well as shatterproof upon an impact.
However, in a case when there is no other option left, the only thing to do is try to get out by breaking the front windshield. Now since it has been established that the front windshield is quite strong and can’t be broken or smashed easily, what one has to do is to apply force on it so that it can be unfastened from the frame itself. The windshield is stuck on the frame with strong adhesives but if you apply enough force on the edges, chances are that it will give away, bit by bit. To do that, adjust your legs so that they are on the edge of the windshield and adjust the seat so that you can apply maximum pressure on the glass. While this is not a sure shot remedy, it works sometimes and if done properly.
Keep an emergency window punch/glass hammer in the car
An emergency window punch or a glass hammer, as its name suggests, is a tool that can be used to easily break the side windows of a car. It is quite a small tool and can be pretty handy in emergency situations. They are also relatively inexpensive with prices in the range of Rs. 300-700. We recommend you to buy one and store them in the glovebox of your car. The window hammer has a special hard metal alloy hammer end that instantly cracks the glass upon impact. A window punch, on the other hand, operates on the same principle but it has a mechanism to punch the glass on its own, resulting in a crack. You can check out an example of a simple window hammer cum seatbelt cutter utility tool here.