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Prevents body ejection, reduces noise and... dissuades burglars
Better protection with side laminated glass

CitroŽn C4 VTS gets standard laminated side windows.

CitroŽn C4 VTS gets standard laminated side windows.

APN,
27th March 2006.

Despite the very significant advances in active and passive car safety, there are and will always be many ways to improve, and more often than not, in too obvious, yet, overlooked areas.

Take the glass for example. We got used to the additional protection of laminated glass for the windscreen only. Constructed of a polyvinylbutyral (PVB) interlayer sandwiched between two thin glass plies, PVB laminated glass was first used (in the sixties) on windscreens to improve safety in the event of an accident. It is now a legal requirement.

Laminated glass was known since the twenties, but in a simpler form with two pieces of glass with a plastic liner in between (known as the Triplex windshield). While the Triplex technique covered side windows as well, it wasn't strong enough to prevent the head (or a member) from penetrating the glass with the neck remaining stuck in between.

CitroŽn C6 gets standard laminated glass side windows on all versions.

CitroŽn C6 gets standard laminated side windows on all versions.

When the PVB laminated glass was introduced in the sixties, it gave a far better protection, especially that it kept evolving into stronger, thinner and lighter forms.

However, windows remained made, since the fifties, from tempered glass, which was heat treated to make it break into small pieces rather than into big, far more dangerous pieces.

Nonetheless, tempered glass presents another big threat, which is full or partial body ejection from the window in side accidents. And that can be prevented with PVB laminated glass which would keep passengers in the car.

While car burglars love tempered side windows technology, for obvious reasons, the additional benefit of laminated glass side windows is that it makes breaking into the car far more difficult and dissuasive.

Latest Home Office* statistics in the UK show that attempted ďsmash and grabĒ vehicle crime has doubled in a decade, leaving motorists feeling more vulnerable than ever to attack.

CitroŽn C5 gets other safety features (like C4 and C4) such as the Lane Departure Warning system.

CitroŽn's C5: laminated windows (Exclusive) and other safety features (like C4 and C6) such as the Lane Departure Warning system (pictured).

Windows continue to be the weakest area of a vehicle, accounting for 1 in 2 car crimes(1). Yet with approaching 100 break-ins every hour in the UK(2), at a cost of GB £1.4bn annually to the insurance industry(3), experts believe high security laminated glass could dramatically reduce the trend.

New research from CitroŽn has found that 1 in 6 car owners would like to see the unbreakable safety glass fitted as a legal standard within the next 10 years(4).

However, until recently laminated glass in side windows was exclusively limited to the luxury end of the car market.

Recently CitroŽn became the first volume manufacturer to introduce laminated side windows as standard in the small family hatchback sector, on versions of the popular C4.

The French manufacturer now offers the technology on three models: the C-segment C4 (lower medium category), the D-segment C5 (upper medium), and the new C6 (E-segment, Executive category). In the UK, laminated side glass is offered as standard on the CitroŽn C4 VTS & Exclusive, C5 Exclusive and C6 (standard across the range), and optionally on the C4 VTR+.

What Car? British magazine has been at the forefront of the drive for laminated side glass to
be fitted to more cars, and group editor Steve Fowler commented: "The example set
by CitroŽn is widely applauded. Security glazing is potentially the most significant security development since the introduction of the immobiliser, so it really does need
to be embraced."

Aside from the obvious anti-crime benefits of laminating the side glass, it also makes it less likely that drivers will be thrown from their vehicles during an accident as well as reducing noise inside the car Ė by around four decibels. Motorists also feel more secure when inside the vehicle, especially given the eightfold increase in ďtraffic lightĒ car muggings reported over the past three years(1).

1- www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/vehicle_theft_0405.xls
2- www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/hosb1105chap456.pdf
3- www.autoglass.co.uk/cracking/top_line_results.asp
4- Research conducted at Dover Port: 1,000 motorists interviewed.

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