If you are afraid of confined spaces – stop reading now. Being claustrophobic is one thing, but even the bravest of us would not like to be locked-in our own vehicle without means of escape. “This will never happen to me”, I hear you say, but don’t be so certain.
An recent interesting call to our offices confirmed that a whole family was once stuck in a Volkswagen Golf 4, when the alternator stopped charging during a long trip. The battery was completely drained, causing the door locks and electric windows to fail. With the sun baking, the car’s cabin became hot and stuffy within minutes and were it not for a passing Good Samaritan, the family would potentially have been in serious trouble.
We asked the caller the exact same questions that are floating in your mind right now: Did you try the windows? What about the unlock button? Did you pull hard enough on the door levers etc? After the lady convinced us that she had tried everything possible, we decided to put this theory to the test by locking each other in various vehicles in our garage. True enough, out of the five vehicles we tested, only two would allow the occupant to exit the car the conventional way.
The reason for this is that door levers in most modern cars are connected to electronic switches – which need power to remain operational. As do electric windows and unlock buttons. Your only hope in this situation might be an emergency boot release tag (anti-hijack) situated in the boot – assuming you can get there. Your last resort might be to break a potentially expensive window – and even that’s not as easy as you might think.
I dare you to go and try the above (not the breaking window part) for yourself by asking a trustworthy friend to lock you in your car, remote in hand, with you sitting inside. You may just find you need a lot of pleading before your “friend” lets you out again! If this experiment scares you then perhaps it’s time to invest in a Lifehammer or equivalent product that allows you to… break the window in case of emergency!