Vehicle Safety

In the event of a downed power line, navigating the situation with caution is paramount, especially when inside a vehicle. Ensuring personal safety requires a specific set of actions to minimize the risk of electric shock and other hazards. Here, we provide essential vehicle safety tips for dealing with downed power lines, emphasizing the importance of staying inside the vehicle, alerting others, and patiently awaiting professional assistance to mitigate potential dangers.

Knowing what to do if your car comes in contact with a power line could save you or a loved one’s life! 

If your vehicle comes into contact with a downed power line, stay inside and call 9-1-1 right away. The vehicle acts as a protective barrier against electric shock.

Avoid touching the vehicle’s exterior and the ground simultaneously. This minimizes the risk of electric shock as the vehicle may be energized.

Use your phone or horn to alert others to stay away from the area. Warn pedestrians and other drivers about the downed power line.

Wait for MVEA crews or emergency responders to assess the situation. They are trained to handle downed power lines safely.

If there is a fire or imminent danger inside the vehicle, and you must exit, do not step out. Instead, jump clear of the vehicle, ensuring that you do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Land with your feet together, and shuffle away.

Maintain a safe distance (at least 20 feet) from the downed power line and any objects it may be in contact with. Assume all lines are live and dangerous.

Do not use water to extinguish a vehicle fire near a downed power line. Water is a conductor of electricity and could worsen the situation.

If you have passengers in the vehicle, instruct them to stay put and follow safety guidelines. Advise them against any attempts to exit the vehicle unless it is absolutely necessary.

Seventeen-year-old Mary Gehrig was driving home from a friend’s house on a stormy June night. Around 25 minutes into her 30-minute drive, Gehrig turned onto the county road that would take her home. Although there was near-zero visibility due to the storm that turned much more severe than originally forecast, she noticed two white lines off into the distance. As she got closer, she realized that those lines were across the road, in her path, and that they were anything but small.