Any of us who have seen a movie has seen the common scene of a hero or villain crashing through a pane of glass in a daring escape. However, this movie magic usually forgets to include a crucial detail — if that person were to crash through a real window, they would be scraped and cut deeply in many different places! Standard panes of glass shatter, leading to sharp edges that cut easily. This is the type of glass that was used as the first auto glass, and throughout the years as accidents became more common, car makers started to seek out ways to make auto glass safer for the driver.
Some of the first auto glass safety precautions taken were to determine a way to keep the glass from shattering into hazardous shards during an accident. In the early years of vehicles, manufactures developed a few different types of glass, usually impregnated or containing another substance to make it more stable. This gave the auto glass mixed results in terms of safety. While some of the glass didn’t cause dangerous shards, it broke easier. Eventually, auto manufacturers tweaked and re-worked the formula to come up with the auto glass that vehicles today currently use: laminated safety glass.
Laminated safety glass is glass that has been specially treated to be more durable than other forms of glass and then sandwiched between layers of clear, strong and specially-treated plastics. When this type of auto glass suffers an impact, instead of shattering, it can withstand a certain level of impact and breaks into small pebbles of glass rather than shards.
The next time you’re driving in your car or need a new windshield, be glad you live in the time of safer auto glass!