How to Get Into a Car Through the Trunk

by Y.T. LinUpdated August 15, 2023

Navigating the Stress of Being Locked Inside a Car Trunk

Whether by a twist of fate, a prank, or an intentional act, finding yourself locked in a car trunk can be unnerving. Modern cars, with their advanced automotive features, often come equipped with safety mechanisms to prevent such scenarios. Nevertheless, knowing what to do can be the difference between a quick exit and prolonged distress.

Steps to Free Yourself from a Locked Car Trunk

  1. Stay Composed: First and foremost, remember to remain calm. Automotive experts state that car trunks are not airtight. Under normal circumstances, an individual could stay conscious for up to 12 hours. The risk arises from hyperventilating, so ensure you breathe slowly and relax.
  2. Seek the Trunk Release Lever: Many newer cars, especially models from manufacturers like Ford and Toyota, feature an emergency release lever. This lever, often bright yellow or orange, glows in the dark and is typically located near the trunk lock mechanism. Engaging this lever or accompanying tag will unlock the trunk lid, granting you a swift exit.
  3. Utilize the Rear Seats: If the trunk release button is absent or dysfunctional, look for seat release latches on the seat backs in the trunk. Typically, these are found on the bottom-left and bottom-right of the seat backs facing the trunk. Unlocking these allows the rear seats, in most sedans, to fold in a 60-40 split, offering passage through the back seat.
  4. Force the Back Seat: In the event that seat release latches aren’t available or identifiable, applying pressure or giving a strong kick against the rear of the back seat can be effective. This approach can also work for cars without fold-down seats, as long as no metal barrier separates the trunk from the seat backs. Given the "snap-on" design of most rear seats, they can be dislodged using force.
  5. Emergency Alternatives: If you’re still trapped, remember some cars have manual locks which can be tinkered with. Using a slim jim, screwdriver, or even a wire hanger, can potentially unlatch the locking mechanism. Additionally, in certain situations, a coat hanger could be maneuvered to press the unlock button, especially if the car door has an accessible keyhole.

Reaching Out For Assistance

If you’ve exhausted the above steps, consider signaling for help. Activating the car's horn, flashing lights using the key fob, or making noticeable movements can alert passersby.

Modern cars, especially newer ones, have become more user-friendly and safety-conscious over the years. However, in such dire situations, having a locksmith or roadside assistance with years of experience can be invaluable. It's also worth noting that dealerships can offer guidance, especially if one finds themselves frequently locked out of their vehicle.

Lastly, always acquaint yourself with your car's features, whether it's checking the glove box for a spare key, familiarizing yourself with the driver’s seat mechanisms, or reading through the FAQs provided by the manufacturer. Your safety and comfort are paramount.

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