When vehicle collisions with power poles occur, prioritizing safety and understanding the precise steps to take becomes crucial. This vital information is overlooked in standard driver safety courses and DMV handbooks, contributing to a troubling number of fatalities each year and emphasizing the need for awareness regarding electrical safety in car accidents.
Despite the infrequency of vehicle collisions with power poles, thousands of these accidents occur annually. It is imperative to prioritize safety in these uncommon yet potentially dangerous situations. Below are key tips to keep in mind.
Stay Inside Your Vehicle
The first recommendation is remaining inside your vehicle, especially if downed power lines are visible. Avoid touching any part of the car’s frame or any metal. Utilize your cellphone to call for help or honk your horn to summon assistance.
Exiting the vehicle in such a scenario exposes you to the imminent risk of electrical shock. It is safer to stay inside, with the sole exception being if the vehicle is on fire.
If the Vehicle Is On Fire
In the event of a fire, the advised procedure is to exit the vehicle swiftly by jumping out with both feet landing on the ground simultaneously. Move away from the vehicle promptly by shuffling away and avoiding lifting your feet. Maintain a safe distance of at least 35 feet, and ensure others are aware to keep a considerable distance until the electrical current is shut off.
Recognize that exiting the vehicle in such a scenario exposes you to the imminent risk of electrical shock, making it safer to stay inside and promptly dial 911 for assistance, unless the vehicle is on fire.
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For additional information on what to do if your vehicle or another vehicle collides with a utility pole, check out this article. Further reading from the Electrical Safety Foundation can also be found here.