In some cases, you may want bullet-resistant glass on your vehicle—perhaps if you live in a high-crime area or require extra occupant security. There is no such thing as bullet-proof glass, but bullet-resistant glass is available for windshields, back glasses and side windows.
Modern windshields are made from laminated glass—two pieces of glass sealed together with a thin plastic interlayer. This interlayer helps keep the glass intact in the event of an accident or if debris hits the glass while on the highway. In order to make windshields bullet-resistant, normally manufacturers use thicker pieces of glass with a thick interlayer holding them together. While this may not be bullet-proof, it is designed to stop a bullet or at least slow it down. Bullet-resistant glasses all have ratings which tell you how strong a weapon they can stop.
In general, vehicle side windows are made from tempered glass, which, if broken, breaks into relatively safe, small pieces, rather than shards. Tempered glass is not bullet-resistant. Due to this, in a vehicle where bullet resistance is preferred (or in some high-end vehicles), polycarbonate (also known as plastic) windows are installed. These are thicker and break much less easily than a typical side window might. These windows are much more likely to slow down a bullet in the event one is fired toward them than standard side windows.
The Price Tag
Unfortunately, bullet resistance, for both windshields and side windows, does come with a higher price tag than standard windshields and side windows. It also makes a vehicle heavier. It is more expensive to manufacture and, if broken, more expensive to replace. For this reason, it is typically only found on vehicles that have a need for extra security. These vehicles usually are retrofitted with bullet-resistant glass as factory installation by automobile manufacturers is extremely limited and generally reserved for luxury brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
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