June 2021: Power Line Safety

 

Know How to Survive Auto Accidents Involving Power Lines

Instincts tell us to flee danger.  Unfortunately, in vehicle accidents that bring down power lines, these natural inclinations can lead to tragic results.

Crawfordsville Electric Light & Power and Safe Electricity want everyone to know: If your car hits a power pole, or otherwise brings a power line down, stay in your vehicle and wait until CEL&P is on the scene and ensures the lines have been de-energized.  If you come upon or witness an accident involving toppled power poles and lines, DO NOT leave your vehicle to approach the accident scene.

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, there are tens of thousands of accidents each year in which power poles are struck by cars or large equipment. Each one of these accidents has the potential to bring down power lines.  Surviving the accident itself might not be enough to stay alive without awareness of the right moves to make.

In the vast majority of those accidents, the safest place to be is inside the car. Only in the rare instance of fire should people exit the car. Then, they must know how to do so safely, jumping free and clear of the vehicle, landing with feet together and hopping away. It’s difficult to get out without creating a path for current to flow, which is why one should get out only if forced to.

When people are involved in a car accident, electricity is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind.  We’re often more concerned about whether anyone was injured, or how badly the vehicle is damaged.  We forget that by exiting the vehicle, we’re risking bodily exposure to thousands of volts of electricity from downed power lines.

To learn more about power line safety during car accidents, visit www.celp.com and www.SafeElectricity.org.