Accidents happen. Would you know what to do if your car crashed into an electric pole? Knowing what to do and when could make a life-saving difference.
First, always consider power lines and other electrical equipment to be live and dangerous. The force of the collision might have brought down the pole or power lines. If lines fall on your vehicle or nearby, the area around the accident could be electrically charged. If you step out of the vehicle, under those circumstances, your body can become the “path to ground” for the electricity, and you could be shocked and seriously injured.
“Our first instinct is to get out of the vehicle,” says Brad Vincent, Safety Coordinator for Duck River Electric. “But that’s the wrong thing to do. The safest place after a collision with a power pole is inside the vehicle because the rubber tires insulate you from the electric current.”
“An even greater safety concern is when the car is on fire,” he adds. “Then a different plan of action is needed to exit the vehicle safely.” (Follow the steps below.)
Vincent advises to call 911 for help and tell the dispatcher that you’ve been in an accident involving electrical equipment. Warn others who stop to check on you to stay well away and wait for word from DREMC that the area is safe before exiting the vehicle.”