More Cars Than Ever Have Laminated Windows Instead of Tempered

Knowing the Difference Could Mean Life or Death in an Emergency

FARGO, N.D. — When you think of vehicle safety features, you probably don’t look at your car windows.

Roughly one third of all cars made within the last 10 years have laminated instead of tempered glass in the driver’s and passenger’s windows, and that number will just keep growing according to AAA.

Laminated windows have a thin sheet of film between two panes of glass, making them sturdier and more secure.

They’re much safer in cases of rollovers, but in other emergencies, “… it also makes it virtually impossible to escape through those windows because they won’t shatter like tempered glass would,” said AAA North Dakota spokesman Gene LaDoucer.

A study done by AAA North Dakota showed how difficult it is to shatter laminated glass.

“The spring–loaded tools all broke tempered glass, and two of the three hammer–type tools we tested broke the glass, which was good. However, no tools, either spring–loaded or hammer–type were able to break through the laminated glass,” said LaDoucer.

If you own a car, it’s simple to tell which type of windows it has. There is a label on the bottom corner of your window telling you whether the glass is laminated or tempered. If there is no label on the windows, you can contact the car manufacturer to find out.

Even if you have one laminated glass window, you could have others in your car that are tempered.

It’s important to know how many and which ones are breakable in order to save time when trying to escape.

“Knowing all these options and what your vehicle will allow you to do is very important. And then to have a tool handy to allow you to break the windows in the case of tempered glass is also very important,” said LaDoucer.

If you’re trapped in a car, experts say remaining calm and working cautiously are two important things to remember.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News