How To Escape A Locked Car Safely

People can find themselves locked inside a car for many reasons that do not always involve a crime. If a person becomes trapped, it is important to stay calm and think rationally to find a way out.

While uncommon, a person can become trapped in a car’s storage compartment like the trunk, which is especially true for young children playing. Car doors may also become jammed if a car is submerged in water, been part of a car accident or if the electrical system fails.

This is exactly what happened to a 75 year-old Cleveland man. He found himself stuck inside his car for more than 13 hours after the power locks failed. He tried breaking the car windows with no luck and called out for help but went unnoticed. He was unaware his car was equipped with a manual door release lever on the floor next to his seat.

If a person does become trapped, it is important to stay calm and weigh the options available. Emergency handle locations can be found in the owner’s manual in the glove compartment. Some cars have a reserve system designed to work when electrical systems fail.

All cars manufactured after 2002 have a mechanical release lever as part of a federal law. The lever must be easy to use and find and has to glow in the dark. The lever must also be simple enough for a toddler to use. Prior to 2002 models, most cars have a trunk release cable. Some cars also have a collapsible back seat that allows easier access to the cabin.

To avoid becoming trapped, the American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends that key-less car owners check the fob’s battery every two to three years. It is also important to keep fobs out of water to prevent any malfunction.

If a person is trapped, a car expert recommends he or she should follow the these steps before breaking a window:

  • Check every door to see if one opens
  • Call for help if a mobile phone is available
  • Bang on windows
  • Honk the horn
  • Make a sign for help
  • Ask a passerby to open door

If this does not work, he or she can try to break the window and escape through it. However, breaking a window is a lot harder than it looks. Only side windows on a car will shatter. The windshield is tempered and attempting to break a windshield will only result in a crack. A six-in-one tool can help break the side windows.

The six-in-one tool has a seat-belt cutter, flashlight, emergency signal, car charger, portable power bank and a glass breaker. An automatic center punch can also be used. It punches a hole in the glass that helps shatter the rest.

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