If you're the parent of a teenager, you know that it's only a matter of time before they start driving. While you're helping your teen driver log the required hours behind the wheel, there are many things you can teach them that they don't learn in drivers training. One of the most important things to teach them is what to do if they hit a utility pole. Review these tips with your teen before they get behind the wheel.
If a power line falls on their vehicle and there is no fire:
The safest option is to stay inside the vehicle until help arrives. This is because the vehicle acts as a path for the electrical current to travel to reach the ground. Everyone is safe inside the vehicle, but if anyone gets out, they could be electrocuted.
If a power line falls on the vehicle and there is a fire:
Jump out of the vehicle, making sure no body parts or clothing touches the ground and vehicle simultaneously.
Land with both feet together and in small, shuffling steps, move at least 40 feet away from the vehicle. The ground could be energized. If you run or take large steps, you could conduct electricity from one leg at one voltage to another leg at another voltage. Shuffling away with both feet together decreases the risk of electrical shock.
It is important that you never help someone else from the car while standing on the ground. As in all power line-related emergencies, call for help immediately by dialing 911.