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Can a Life Hammer Break Laminated Glass?

by Barbara 4. June 2008 15:00

Question about the product Original Life Hammer Escape Hammer (Orange)
Product Code: : SM-IN-LH002

Q: "Does the original Life Hammer work on laminated side windows? Another similar product does not and I don't know if my windows are laminated ?"- Renee

Answer: I appreciate your bringing this question to us. It was my understanding that tinted safety glass was the material used in automotive side windows. The Life Hammer will break safety glass but not laminated glass like that in windshields. I contacted the manufacturer. This is what the company president suggests:

  • Contact your dealer to learn if you indeed have laminated side windows made from the same material as your windshield. He states that typically only luxury vehicles have this option unless you have opted this as an upgrade to your vehicle.
  • Tinted side windows are usually safety glass with a laminated film. A Life Hammer will break out this type of window.

Nothing will break out laminated glass. There are some interesting discussions about the pros and cons of laminated and safety glass for side windows that you can find on the internet. Go to overlawyered.com and hunt for laminated-glass-in-car windows. One person said it took him 5 minutes with a special saw to saw through a laminated side window.

My summary of that discussion is that safety glass allows for escape from a car without undue force or time while laminated windshield type glass side windows means that getting out is nearly impossible. There was a 31 million dollar legal decision against Ford due to a roll over accident in 2003 where the occupants of a 2000 Ford Explorer were not wearing seat belts and were thrown from a vehicle with side windows of safety glass. At the time, 99.9% of the cars through the 2000 model year had side windows of safety glass.

I hope you found this as interesting and terrifying as I did! I don't know if you have electric windows but I do only on the front windows of my 2003 Windstar van (the dual rear doors slide but the windows don't open.). I plan to contact Ford and learn what material my windows are made from.

Sincerely,
Barbara

Tags:

car safety | emergency preparedness