Nothing makes you appreciate electricity more than coping with a power failure. While it makes home life inconvenient for you, somewhere outside is a downed power line that is a potential hazard for nearby pedestrians and car traffic. In these situations, people behave differently depending on their levels of risk aversion and knowledge of electricity. However, with downed power lines, the forgiveness factor for mistakes is zero. There is only one way to deal with fallen power lines: with extreme caution.
- Turn around. When you first notice a fallen power line along the road, immediately turn around and find an alternate route. This applies whether you are driving or walking. Even if the line does not completely cross the road, electricity can conduct along the road surface. People are often killed by ground currents from live wires. Note that live wires do not always produce sparks. While the wheels of your car provide some insulation, you have no knowledge of the voltages involved. In addition, driving over the lines may entangle your car in them or pull more power lines down, perhaps on top of you.
- Stay in your car. If you collide into a pole causing power lines to fall on or near your car, do not leave the vehicle. In this situation, it’s natural to feel rattled and want to get away from the danger. Resist this impulse and stay inside until utility technicians tell you it’s safe. Warn away all pedestrians who offer their help. The news has a number of stories of good Samaritans electrocuted by downed power lines.
- Leave your car if it’s on fire. This is the only exception to the rule of staying in your car. Do not make contact with the road and your car at the same time. Instead, jump clear and land on both feet. Hop clear of the area with both feet hitting the ground at the same time. The voltage along the ground changes and hopping prevents your feet from straddling areas of different voltages which will cause electrical current to flow through your body. Sneakers or boots with plastic or rubber soles provide little to no protection against high voltages. Some fillers used in plastics may conduct electricity.
If you were injured in a car accident and need the legal advice of experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyers, the Ken Nunn Law Office can help you get the compensation you deserve. To discuss your options, contact us today.