Motor vehicle accidents claim an alarming number of lives every year. This is because these accidents often cause immediate trauma to drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Unfortunately, however, if you collide with an electrical pole, your risk of death might not end when the accident does.
According to reporting from WRAL, an NBC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina, a teen driver died recently when downed power lines electrocuted her after she initially survived a car accident. While the story is nothing short of tragic, you do not have to meet the same fate.
Analyze the risk
Immediately after any car accident, including a collision with an electrical pole, you must analyze any ongoing risk to yourself and your passengers. Indeed, you might need to take immediate action to prevent additional injuries.
If you collide with a power pole, you should specifically look for any downed wires, sparks or fires. Remember, wires on the ground can still carry high-voltage electricity, so you should stay inside your car. After all, your vehicle’s tires are likely to protect you. Exiting the vehicle, though, might result in your electrocution.
This might be true even if you do not touch downed wires, as wires can electrify the ground with deadly electrical currents.
Consider your options
Usually, the most effective way to survive a collision with an electrical pole is to call 911 and remain inside your vehicle until emergency responders arrive. If a fire or some other risk prevents you from staying in your car, though, you should never touch the ground and any part of your vehicle at the same time.
Ultimately, by jumping free from your car and shuffling your feet until you reach a safe distance, you are likely to reduce your electrocution risk substantially.