Getting trapped in a sinking car is something most of us never think of. Although the chances of being involved in such an accident are relatively small, it’s always good to be prepared just in case. You never know when you might need to escape such a situation. Better yet, having an understanding of how glass works could prove to be invaluable in helping you free yourself from a submerged car. In the video below, Dustin from the popular YouTube channel SmarterEveryDay explains the science behind car windshields, and how you can use this knowledge to prevent yourself from drowning in a crashed vehicle.
As you may already know, car windshields are not made out of the same material as the glass on your table top or cabinet door. That kind of glass is called annealed glass. You won't see any car with annealed glass because it breaks off into large sharp pieces when exposed to a lot of force or heat. Instead, cars use what is known as tempered glass. This type of glass is very impact-resistant and breaks off into small, square pieces during an impact. Knowing the difference between the properties of annealed glass and tempered glass is essential if you want to survive a sinking car.
Since tempered glass is reinforced, it takes a lot more force to break it. When people are in a panicked situation such as being trapped in a submerged car, they may think that hitting the center of the glass will cause it to break. That’s the wrong thing to do. Instead, hit the edges of the window to shatter the rest of the glass and escape your vehicle. In situations where every second counts, simply knowing which location to hit could save your life. The video below goes into more detail about the different properties of car windshields and how you can break them in an emergency.
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