Dr Anthony Lynham


Car vs power pole? Know how to survive…

Car vs power pole? Know how to survive…

9 April, 2019 –

During the Easter holidays last year, dozens of vehicles hit power poles and other electrical infrastructure. The safest place to be if this happens to you is in your car.

As we head towards Easter, I urge everyone to be aware of the risks and take note of our safety message: STAY in the car, CALL 000 and WAIT for help.

Many people wrongly assume that if their vehicle hits the powerline network that power is automatically turned off and that it’s safe to leave their vehicle.

This is incorrect: powerlines can still be energised and the electricity can then travel through the metal of the vehicle body and/or through the ground.

If you need to get out of a vehicle because of a fire or a life-threatening hazard, then there’s a process to follow to minimise the risk of shock or electrocution:

  • Jump clear of the vehicle, being very careful not to touch the vehicle and ground at the same time;
  • Once clear of the vehicle, either shuffle your feet along the ground or jump until you are at least ten metres away from any danger.

Bystanders are also at risk of receiving electric shocks or worse if they touch the vehicle and should stay back at least ten metres from the vehicle and the damaged power equipment and call 000.