A reader suggests a way to escape a vehicle if its electric windows fail in an emergency.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1995

Dear Tom and Ray:

Some time ago, you guys published a letter about a little old lady who was fearful that her car's electric windows wouldn't work if the car plunged into a river. In your inimitable way, you made her look like an excessive worrier, because, you said, the windows would operate under water, at least for a short time. What you failed to point out is that electric windows may fail to work whenever the battery has been dislodged in an accident, and that opening the windows may be critical if the doors can't be opened, for example if jammed in the crash, or if the car is on its side. I remembered your column when I found, in a European auto supply store, a product called a "Life Hammer." It's a small hammer with a sharp point to break auto glass easily. So, I think you should tell your readers who are concerned about safety that they should not only wear their seatbelts, they should also have, within the driver's reach: 1. A fire extinguisher, 2. A flashlight, and 3. A hammer with a sharp point, all firmly affixed to the car, but easily removed.

RAY: My brother has all that safety gear in his car, Don. But he hasn't quite caught on to the concept yet. He keeps it in the trunk.

Get the Car Talk Newsletter

Got a question about your car?

Ask Someone Who Owns One