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I live in a Toronto suburb on the East side, and recently the weather has been inconsistent. A few days ago it was sunny above 0, and then on the 24th of this month, there was freezing rain and below 0 degrees Celsius. Yesterday it was kind of the same but there was no rain, just cold and with the freezing rain still everywhere. Today it is above 0 degrees.

So is it possible for this back window to shatter? My first thought was that it was a person who did this.

Also comparing to pictures from this Google search my car window doesn't look like those...but still am wondering.

  • What do you mean it doesn't look like those? Can u post a picture? – Tom Mar 26 '16 at 21:30

Safety glass will most always look the same no matter how or where it shatters, mainly due to the design of the glass. It's made to break into a thousand little pieces (you'll still find pieces five years from now if you still have the car ... they just get everywhere).

I don't think you'll ever be able to conclusively figure out, with 100% surety whether this was weather or some type of sabotage going on. Here are some things to look at which may help you figure it out:

  • Is there a foreign object inside the car, like a rock or brick or something which shouldn't be there? If so, you can almost be sure there was foul play.
  • Was there anything missing? If there was stuff missing, this too would lead you to believe there was foul play.
  • Was there any other windows in the neighborhood which were broke?
  • Do you know of anyone who is mad at you?

If you cannot conclusively link any of the above questions to this incident, you almost have to assume it wasn't foul play, but more than likely some other cause. Remember that safety glass is pretty tough stuff, but as you can tell, it's not unbreakable. Glass is strong, but very susceptible to stress risers. If pressure were applied in just the right direction at the right time in conjunction with the stress of the recent hot/cold cycles, this may have happened. Safety glass will not crack alone, it will shatter. That's its nature and how it's designed.

You can never rule out what kids will do, but they will almost invariably leave behind something, be it a rock or something else hard. They won't stick around to pull it out. They will try to be as far away as possible when they do it so as to attain a quick getaway. If it were a thief, stuff would be missing. Take a good look inside your car, I'm betting it will tell you the tale.

  • If they broke it with a hammer it wouldn't have been left behind; if they broke it with a "ninja rock" he won't be able to find it, so you can't 100% conclude that nothing left behind means it can't have been vandalism. – Random832 May 31 '16 at 16:12
  • @Random832 - I don't think that's what I was suggesting. I never rule anything out. I was just suggesting these are some primary behaviors and outcomes. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 31 '16 at 20:29
  • Now the back glass is Okay.Thanks for your help. – Shihong Zhang Jan 18 '19 at 17:44

The window looks smashed, in my opinion[1]. When you smash a window pressure is created and it forces it to bend. Your window seems to have been hit in the middle, which caused the borders to pry themselves against the frame.

[1] I've smashed a fair amount of windows myself in junkyards and accidents. Most notably the windshield of a BMW with a grapefruit (prank gone wrong).


Even with the bad freeze of a few years ago that wouldn't have happened. The weather is floating above and below zero very randomly but its not like if you were to pour boiling water on the frozen glass. I don't think it was the ice looking at it, then again you can never be sure just from a picture. Its not even said it was a person, I had the misfortune of having a sign fly right into one of my cars in the driveway, did quite a bit of damage, if it hit the glass instead of the body it would have shattered it. Always a risk when the car is in the driveway, eh?

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