Auto accidents involving power lines: What you need to know to stay safe
(December 19, 2017) Lexington, Neb. – Driving conditions may take a turn for the worst as winter descends on Nebraska. Before an accident becomes a tragedy, Dawson Public Power District is encouraging drivers to observe the following safety tips when in a vehicle accident involving power lines:
Stay in the car – If a car hits a power pole, or otherwise brings a power line down, drivers and passengers should stay in the vehicle and call 911 for help. In most cases, this is the safest option. Those inside the car are much like a bird on a wire. Electricity from power lines in contact with a vehicle travels around the outside of the car’s metal shell, through the tires and into the ground. The electricity will take any and every path to the ground. By avoiding the ground, those in the vehicle will remain safe. Warn others to stay at least 50 feet away.
Exit safely – In the event of a fire, passengers must exit the vehicle before the electricity is disconnected. First, open the door and stand on the door frame keeping your arms close to your sides. Then, without touching the vehicle, jump away from the car and land with both feet together. Finally, take small hops or shuffle your feet until 50 feet away from the vehicle. By avoiding contact with the vehicle and keeping the feet together, passengers could minimize the chance of becoming a path for electrical current to flow. Do not attempt to leave the vehicle unless there is eminent danger of a fire.