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AAA Tests Vehicle Escape Tools, Finds Them Effective in Certain Situations

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Hopefully, you’ve never found yourself trapped in a submerged vehicle. But if you do, a vehicle escape tool can help you escape from it. A recent AAA study confirms that these tools can definitely help save your life, in the right situation. A lot of it depends on what type of window glass your vehicle uses. 

Know your glass

It’s important to know what type of window glass the automaker installed on your specific vehicle. Per AAA, more new autos have side windows made of laminated glass. One out of three 2018 models uses this glass type. (Check out this helpful list AAA compiled of models that use laminated glass, to see if your vehicle falls into this category.)

Laminated glass has been designed to be nearly unbreakable, to reduce the chance that you or another passenger is ejected during an accident. The strength of the glass is also its weak point, as it usually remains unshattered when you try to break through it with an escape tool. 

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The study’s findings

Are vehicle escape tools useful only in breaking tempered glass? That’s exactly what AAA determined to find out in its study. To this end, AAA researchers tested different vehicle escape tools on both tempered and laminated glass side windows.

The main finding of the study was that only four of the six tools could shatter tempered glass, while none of the six tools tested could break the laminated glass. Additionally, the researchers found that spring-loaded tools were more effective than hammer-style ones in shattering tempered glass — especially in cases where the vehicle was underwater. 

A helpful caveat to keep in mind

Even if your vehicle does employ laminated glass for its side windows, you might still be able to shatter one of the windows. That’s because many new models that use laminated side windows typically have at least one window made of tempered glass, as AAA confirms. 

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News Source: AAA