Follow these important safety tips if there is a downed power line on your car. First, always treat the wire as if it is live and extremely dangerous. Second, remain inside your vehicle until utility workers have assured you it is safe to exit. Third, if you must evacuate your vehicle, follow the leap and shuffle-to-safety technique.
If a downed power line falls on your car please contact your electric utility company with questions about damage they may have caused to your vehicle. Unfortunately, the Electrocution Lawyers can only help if someone has suffered a shock injury or electrocution. For a non-injury-related legal issue, you should contact your local utility company. Your state bar also sometimes can refer you to an attorney that focuses on a specific non-injury related legal need.
If you or a loved one has been electrocuted or suffered an electric shock injury as a result of a downed power line on your car, an experienced electrocution lawyer can help you and your family protect your legal rights and hold the responsible party or parties accountable for your injuries, economic losses and medical bills. The law in this area is very complex, and often will involve many potential parties that lawyers who do not specialize in electrocution cases would not consider adding to a lawsuit for damages when someone has been injured or killed by a downed power line on a car. Call us toll free at (800) 548-0043 for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer who has litigated successfully many downed power line shock injury and electrocution cases.
Whether you have experienced a downed power line on your car or anywhere else, it is very, very important that you remember my three rules of power line safety:
- Treat downed power lines as alive and deadly – even if they are not arcing, sparking, humming, buzzing or jumping.
- Never approach or touch a fallen power cable with anything – not your hands or an object of any kind because you can be electrocuted.
- Stay clear of any objects, structures, fences, trees, puddles, bodies of water, and/or people that come in contact with the fallen power wire because electrical currents can travel through those objects or people and enter your body, causing you to be electrocuted or suffer an electric shock.
Remembering and following those rules could literally be the difference between life and death for you and your loved ones.
To learn more about what to do if a downed power line is on your car, check out the video below of my interview on WZZM-13 TV:
What to do if power lines fall on your car?
If a downed power line falls on your car you should stay inside your car so long as it is safe to do so. Call 9-1-1 and the utility company. Honk or roll down your window to warn others to stay away. Remain in your vehicle until emergency responders and/or utility workers assure you it is safe to exit.
How to safely evacuate if a high voltage wire falls on a car and there is fire or smoke
If a high voltage wire falls on a car and there is fire or smoke, follow these steps for a safe evacuation: (1) open your door; (2) stand on the threshold with your feet together; (3) jump clear of the vehicle; and (4) shuffle away without lifting a foot off the ground until you are 30 feet from the vehicle.
Here is more detail about the steps for a safe evacuation if a downed power line falls on your car:
- Remove all loose items of clothing
- Open the vehicle door – but do not step out of the vehicle
- Stand with both feet together on the threshold of the door
- Take your arms and either fold them across your chest and hold your arms and hands them by your sides
- Jump clear of the vehicle with both feet as close together as possible – making sure that you DO NOT touch or otherwise make contact with the vehicle while jumping
- Make sure that you ARE NOT touching any part of your vehicle when your feet hit the ground
- It is crucial that you are NEVER touching both the vehicle and the ground AT THE SAME TIME – that is why you must jump rather than step out
- Shuffle away from your vehicle – Keeping your feet close together on the ground at all times
- DO NOT raise, pick up or lift your feet off the ground as you normally would when you walk (as opposed to shuffling) – Never lift only one foot off the ground
- Alternatively, instead of shuffling, you can hop like a bunny – keeping both feet together at all times
- DO NOT crawl or otherwise touch the ground with your hands
- Your goal is to shuffle or bunny hop until you get at least 30 feet away from the vehicle
- If you experience any tingling sensations in your feet or legs, continue to shuffle or hop away from your vehicle until the tingling sensations stop
- If a downed power line falls on a car do not try to help someone else from the vehicle while you are standing on the ground because you will become a path or conductor of the electricity in the vehicle which is trying to find a path to ground and, thus, you could be electrocuted or suffer an electric shock injury
Generally, experts will advise people to remain in their vehicles if a high voltage wire falls on their car because they are safest in their vehicle.
However, when there is fire or smoke or the circumstances make a person fearful of an imminent explosion or some other type of catastrophe, then he or she must evacuate.
How do you stay safe inside your vehicle when a downed power line is on your car?
If a downed power line is on your car, you are safe inside because the metal cage construction of the vehicle spreads the electrical current around it, causing the electrical current to go to ground through the tires.
This phenomenon of the frame of the vehicle and tires protecting the occupants inside is called a “Faraday Cage” – named after scientist Michael Faraday who invented the idea in 1836. The “Faraday Cage” principle is also what keeps airline passengers safe when an airplane gets struck by lightning.
It is important to remember that if a downed power line falls on your car, that in order to be protected inside your vehicle, it is very important that you DO NOT touch any of the metal components of your vehicle.
Downed power line on the road
Do not drive over a downed power line on the road with your car. The wire could get tangled in your wheels or undercarriage, causing utility poles, other cables and other electrical equipment to be pulled down. It could also cause your tires to melt, catch fire and/or explode.
Consider that a high voltage electric arc can be 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit whereas the surface of the sun is 10,000 degrees and the melting point of iron is 2,800 degrees.
Get help from an experienced electric shock injury lawyer
If you or someone you love is a victim of serious personal injury or death caused by electricity, you can call and speak with Jeff Feldman, arguably the nation’s most experienced electric shock accident and electrocution attorney. Jeff has litigated electrocution cases and electric shock injury cases in multiple states for laborers in the building industry, against utility companies for people injured by downed or low-hanging overhead power cables, and against hotels and businesses for people electrocuted in pools. Jeff also consults with injury lawyers throughout the country on electric shock injury and wrongful death cases involving electricity. You can call Jeff toll free at (800) 548-0043 for a free consultation.