What to do if lightning strikes when you’re driving
A thunderstorm is a violent weather phenomenon associated with heavy rain and lightning. And it is precisely because of lightning that every electrical storm is dangerous.
Each year in the United States, about 300 people are injured, and about 80 people die by lightning strikes. Many of the victims who are struck by lightning manage to survive; however, research shows that they have long-term physical symptoms that can be debilitating.
It is estimated that, in the world, there are 2,000 thunderstorms per minute. And that in one year there are approximately 14.6 million!
Thunderstorms can be accompanied by heavy rain, strong winds, and hail. Therefore, driving during a thunderstorm can be a terrifying experience.
What to do if I am driving during a thunderstorm?
If you find yourself in the middle of a thunderstorm while driving, it is important to do the following:
- Find a safe place to park
- Avoid parking next to power poles, trees, and other objects that can attract lightning.
- Keep your emergency lights on
- Turn off the engine and sit with your hands on your lap until the storm passes
- Contact your family or a friend to inform your location
- Don’t get out of the car
- Keep calm
What to do if my car is struck by lightning?
If your car is hit by lightning, don’t panic. While you are inside your vehicle, the metal structure will protect you from lightning. Contrary to what many people think, it is not the tires that can protect you. The metallic structure of your car works as a protective shield against electromagnetic radiation, directing the electrical current around the exterior of the vehicle.
It is important that you are not in contact with any of the electrical systems, such as door handles, gear levers, steering wheel, or dashboard. That’s why it’s important that your hands stay on your lap.
The metal on your car will invariably be damaged, and so will the rims and tyres. Always stay inside your vehicle. Once the storm has passed, contact a tow truck or 911 for assistance.
The best advice is to avoid driving during a thunderstorm and staying home if possible.