If you were to get in a car accident involving a downed electric line, would you know what to do to stay safe? Talking about car accidents can be uncomfortable because no one likes to think about getting injured or losing a loved one in an accident. But you can feel safer and less worried if you are prepared.
1. Be Calm
Naturally, your first instinct after a car accident would probably be to get out of the car immediately and get to safety. However, if the accident involves downed electrical wires, the safest place is often inside the vehicle. Fleeing the car can expose you to electrocution. So, to be safe, stay put in your car and avoid touching its frame. It’s worth noting that even if the electric wires are not buzzing, arcing, or moving, they could still be dangerous. So, be careful and don’t try to move the wires.
Also, there may be bystanders willing to help you. Don’t let them come near your car because they could get electrocuted. Instead, honk and advise them to keep off.
2. Call Emergency Services
Next, you need to call emergency services for help. Firefighters can help you get to safety, while Emergency Medical Response personnel can offer you first aid and responsive medical attention if necessary. Also, find a way to inform the local utility company about the accident and the downed electric line. The utility company will de-energize the downed wire and lift the wires or pole off your car.
What if a Fire Breaks Out?
In some cases, a fire may erupt, forcing you to escape to avoid fire burns. Here is what you should do to avoid suffering severe injuries.
a. Plan: Take a moment to analyze the accident scene and choose the safest escape route. Also, don’t touch your car’s metal frame and the ground simultaneously, as it could make you a conductor and lead to electrocution. Additionally, tuck in or remove loose clothing because they can get stuck on door handles or make you trip, thus affecting your escape.
b. Hop out of the Area: Assume the position of a bunny and hop to safety. While hoping, keep your feet together for a fast and safe escape.