You may be scratching your head and wondering: “Why on earth would I need to know how to break a car window with a screwdriver?”.

Well, there could be several reasons, including emergencies or, say, a pet or child locked inside on a hot day. This guide is here to equip you with knowledge, but remember – it’s essential to use it responsibly.

Throughout this article we’ll cover the following key points:

  • Why a screwdriver makes a good tool for this purpose?
  • How to stay safe when breaking a car window?
  • The Step-by-step instructions on breaking the window.
  • Alternative methods to break a car window with a screwdriver.
  • Things to do after breaking a window, including dealing with potential injuries.

Why Use A Screwdriver To Break A Car Window?

How To Break A Car Window With A Screwdriver

Choosing the right tool is essential. You may have heard about the efficacy of a hammer or crowbar in breaking a window. But why are we talking about a screwdriver, especially in the context of breaking car windows?

For one, a screwdriver is a tool you’re more likely to find lying around your garage or even in your car’s toolkit. It’s a common household item, making it a practical choice.

Moreover, it’s the effectiveness of a screwdriver that matters. With a sharp, pointed end and a sturdy handle to grip, it serves the purpose of breaking a car window quite well.

Just remember, the effectiveness also relies on the technique used, which we will discuss in detail later on. Note that the properties of window glass, especially in automobiles, may vary and hence impact the effectiveness of the process.

For more information, visit my previous article about the different types of screwdrivers.

How To Stay Safe When Breaking A Car Window?

It’s absolutely crucial to understand the importance of safety before you take a swing at that auto glass. Breaking a window can be hazardous, especially without the right precautions.

It’s not just about the act but how you prepare for it. In this section, we’ll walk through the preliminary steps you should consider to ensure everyone’s safety.

Evaluating The Situation

Before you proceed with the window-breaking operation, ensure it’s genuinely necessary. Is there a life at risk? Is there any other way to unlock the car door?

If time is of the essence and the risk is high, breaking the window becomes justified. The key here is to act responsibly, ensuring you’re not causing damage without a compelling reason.

Also, choose the side window glass farthest from the individual trapped inside the car to minimize the risk of injury from flying glass. Remember to warn any bystanders and ensure they keep a safe distance. Safety is paramount, both yours and the people around you.

Before you start the process of breaking a window, I highly suggest you try to unlock the car door with a screwdriver instead. If that doesn’t work for any reason then you can proceed to the instructions discussed below.

Breaking A Car Window With A Screwdriver: Step By Step

Car window breaking using a screwdriver

So, you’ve evaluated the situation and realized it’s a necessary course of action. You’ve got your screwdriver in hand, and you’re ready to go. But hold on! Before you get started, there’s a method to this seeming madness.

The following steps will guide you through the process, from preparation to execution. Remember, this isn’t as easy as shattering standard glass, as most cars use safety glass for windows.

Here are the quick steps you should take to break a car window with a screwdriver:

  • Preparing The Window
  • Striking The Window
  • Clearing The Broken Glass

Let’s explain each step in a bit more detail.

1. Preparing The Window

Before you start swinging, take some steps to ensure safety. One method is to apply duct tape to the window. The idea here is to prevent shards of glass from scattering everywhere once the window breaks. Apply the tape in a criss-cross pattern across the window.

Additionally, position a cloth or towel at the bottom of the window to catch any falling glass. These safety measures may seem excessive, but they are crucial to minimize the risk of injury. If you have a window breaker, using it can make the process even easier and safer.

2. Striking The Window

Now, let’s get to the main part. You must determine the right spot to strike on the window. This would usually be towards one of the lower corners of the window, not the center.

Hold the screwdriver like you would when driving a screw, and hit it with enough force using a hammer or any other heavy object.

The angle and force at which you strike are vital for success. You must strike firmly and swiftly, but remember not to overdo it. You don’t want to risk injuring yourself or others nearby.

It may take more than one hit to break the window. Patience and persistence, my friends! Remember, the type of glass in side windows may require different approaches.

3. Clearing The Broken Glass

Once the window breaks, be cautious with the remaining glass. Wear protective gloves if available, and carefully remove the larger pieces of glass remaining in the window frame.

Dispose of the glass safely – wrap it in a newspaper or put it in a box to prevent injuries. This is even more important if the glass is from a spark plug, which can have sharp and dangerous edges.

Alternative Methods To Break A Car Window With A Screwdriver

Break car window glass with a screwdriver

A regular screwdriver and a bit of force could do the job, but there are also other approaches to consider. These are some alternative methods to break a car’s window using a screwdriver:

  1. Using A Centre Punch
  2. Screwdriver And Wrench Technique
  3. Screwdriver And Rock Technique
  4. Using A Spring-Loaded Screwdriver
  5. Heating And Cooling Technique

1. Using A Center Punch

Although a center punch is not a screwdriver, it is somewhat similar and often more effective at breaking a car window. The pointed end is made to mark the center of a hole when drilling, making it an excellent tool to break glass.

Hold the punch at an angle against the lower corner of the window. Applying pressure will trigger the punch to drive into the glass, causing it to shatter. The process is less noisy and safer than using a screwdriver as it reduces the risk of shattering glass pieces.

2. Screwdriver And Wrench Technique

This method still employs our trusty screwdriver but includes the additional leverage of a wrench. The wrench acts as a hammer, providing the force needed to break the glass.

To do this, hold the screwdriver with its point touching the lower corner of the window, and then strike it with the wrench. The combination of these tools can provide a powerful strike that should be able to break the glass.

3. Screwdriver And Rock Technique

If you can’t find a hammer or wrench, a rock could also be used in combination with a screwdriver. Pick a decent-sized stone that you can hold comfortably in your hand.

Just like the wrench technique, position the screwdriver and use the rock to strike the handle forcefully. Please note this method could be risky if not done properly, as rocks are less predictable in their shape and handling than tools.

4. Using A Spring-Loaded Screwdriver

A spring-loaded screwdriver is a tool designed for breaking glass in emergency situations. It works in a similar way to the center punch method but uses a screwdriver instead.

To use this method, you place the point of the screwdriver at the desired spot on the window. Then you pull back on the handle, which is attached to a spring inside the screwdriver. When released, the spring propels the screwdriver forward with a significant amount of force, enough to shatter the glass.

5. Heating And Cooling Technique

The heating and cooling technique is a less-known method, but effective. For this method, you’ll need a screwdriver, a source of heat like a lighter, and a cooling agent like an aerosol air duster.

Heat the corner of the window using the lighter, then quickly apply the cold air duster. This rapid change in temperature should cause the glass to crack. Then, you can use the screwdriver to strike the already weakened glass, making it easier to break.

These methods offer alternative ways to break a car window using a screwdriver. However, they should only be used in emergency situations where life is at risk. In all cases, your safety and the safety of others should be your primary consideration.

If you’re curious to learn everything about how temperature affects glass, read this article.

What To Do After Breaking a Car’s Window? (Explained)

If you’ve managed to break the car’s window using some of the methods we discussed early on. Remember, the task isn’t over just yet.

After the initial emergency is handled, there are other factors you need to consider. From dealing with potential injuries to handling the damaged vehicle, there are post-breaking steps that need your attention.

In this section, we’ll tackle these considerations, preparing you for handling the aftermath effectively.

Handling The Aftermath

Once the immediate danger is over, you need to handle the aftermath. Your first priority should be to cover the broken window to protect the car’s interior from weather elements or theft. Contact a professional for window replacement at the earliest.

Remember, if you’ve broken the window due to an emergency, it’s best to inform the authorities about the incident. This is especially true if it wasn’t your vehicle. Ensure that you have all the necessary documentation in order, just in case.

Dealing With Potential Injuries

Unfortunately, despite taking precautions, injuries can occur. If there are any cuts or wounds, immediately wash them with warm water and soap. Apply an antibiotic ointment if available, and cover the wound with a clean bandage or cloth.

For deep wounds or if you cannot stop the bleeding, it’s crucial to seek professional medical help immediately. Never take such injuries lightly; your health comes first.

Break a car window from outside

Further Reading:


In short, breaking a car window with a screwdriver isn’t a task to take lightly, but when done properly and responsibly, it could potentially save a life.

Remember, this information is intended for emergency use and should be used ethically. After all, knowledge is power when used wisely.

In the end, it’s not just about the screwdriver or the technique but the safety and well-being of everyone involved. So, here’s hoping that you never find yourself in a situation where you have to use this information. But if you do, remember: safety first!