Jessica Andersson´s cracked window fmor the inside.
08 Jul 2018

"Always carry something heavy inside your car" - Automatic windows trapped woman in her scorching hot car - had to break herself out through the glass


Jessica Andersson. Photo: Private
Jessica Andersson. Photo: Private

A car parked in the sun can become a death trap for both animals and people. When Jessica Andersson locked herself out of her car, she crawled through the windows to get in. Then the power windows automatically came up and locked her in.

80 degrees Celsius (176 Fahrenheit.) That´s how hot it was in the car when Jessica Andersson, 41, realized she could not get out of her car. "I panicked and thought," God, I can not just sit here and die, "she says. 

Jessica Andersson from Motala, Sweden, was on her way to a work assignment when the nightmare occurred. It was during the height of the afternoon heat, 14:30 on Wednesday,  and the sun had warmed the car to a temperature far above what is comfortable. The wireless key did not work, so Jessica used the analogue.

- Then all the windows went down. They apparently do that if you hold down the key for a long time on newer cars",  she says.

She  crawled in behind the wheel but forgot the key in the door. The hand was stretched to grab the key - but then the windows went up.

"Out of pure reflex I pulled my arm in. The side windows went up and I heard a click", she says.

The physical injury was nothing compared to the shock, says Jessica Andersson.

Prisoner in her own car

The car locked and suddenly it was impossible to open the doors or the windows from inside. Jessica was in prison in her own car, which was parked  in direct sunlight for several hours, creating dangerously high temperatures inside.  She panicked.

"I felt I could not breathe. I thought, "Lord, I can not sit here and die," she says.

Jessica was looking for something hard to break the glass with. The best option was the mobile phone. But the side windows refused to give up for either a phone or a kick.

She then starting banging against an already existing crack in the windshield, and finally she got an opening. The crack became bigger and after some kicks she would soon be free.

- A "starry sky" of hairline fractures formed on the windshield. I got up, grabbed the glass  and pulled it apart. It was a relief, but I was in shock.

Upset and mad about the situation

Jessica thinks she was trapped in the car for less than 20 minutes. Shortly after she broke out, she was treated at the emergency room. But the cuts on the arms, legs and face are nothing compared to the mental stress, she says.

Some days later, her shock began to turn into anger and agitation.

- It's horrible, this can not be allowed to happen. You should always be able to get out! Everyone should always have to make sure they have something hard and heavy stored in the glove compartment, (to break the glass with) "she says.

The next day, she put the family's second car in the same location and placed a thermometer in the windshield to see what temperature she was exposed to. A few hours later the thermometer showed almost 80 degrees C / 176 F.


Did not call Emergency Services

After Jessica shared the nightmare experience on Facebook, she had several questions about why she did not call her husband or 112 / 911.

"I knew my husband had no phone. Some have wondered why I did not call 112, but the first thing you think about when you´re locked in is not to call the emergency service", she claims.

- Probably I had a lot of things going through my head but it does not matter, I was in panic. I probably would have acted the same if it happened again today, says Jessica Andersson.


Jessica Andersson´s wind shield from the outside.