Lightning Strikes
By angelamontana

Posted: June 6, 2024
Lightning striking vehicles is a rare but it does happen, and it can be dangerous. Here are some important cautionary facts to be aware of:
  1. Metal Shell Protection: While the metal body of a vehicle generally protects occupants by directing the electrical current around the outside of the car, this is not foolproof. The vehicle acts as a Faraday cage, but it does not guarantee absolute safety.
  2. Windows and Electrical Systems: If windows are open or if there are electrical faults, lightning can penetrate the vehicle. Glass windows offer no significant protection against lightning strikes.
  3. Damage to Vehicle Components: Lightning can damage various components of the vehicle, including the electrical systems, tires, and other electronic controls. This can result in loss of control or vehicle malfunctions.
  4. Risk of Fire: A lightning strike can ignite flammable materials within the vehicle, including fuel vapors and interior materials, leading to a fire hazard.
  5. Occupant Safety: Although rare, lightning strikes can cause injuries to occupants. The electrical current can enter through metal objects inside the car, such as the steering wheel or other conductive components.
  6. Post-Strike Hazards: After a lightning strike, the vehicle might be immobilized or the electrical systems may be compromised, making it difficult to use lights, hazard signals, or other safety features in an emergency.
  7. Myth of Rubber Tires: Contrary to popular belief, rubber tires do not protect a vehicle from lightning. The protection is provided by the metal body of the car, not the tires.
  8. Use of Radios and Phones: Using radios or mobile phones during a thunderstorm inside a vehicle can be risky. Electrical systems linked to antennas can conduct electricity, posing a danger.
  9. Emergency Procedures: In the event of a lightning strike, it’s crucial to safely exit the vehicle and seek shelter away from tall objects and metal structures. Avoid touching metal parts of the car during and immediately after the strike.
  10. Insurance and Repairs: Lightning damage is usually covered by comprehensive auto insurance. It’s important to inspect the vehicle thoroughly and repair any damage to ensure safety.

Understanding these facts can help you take appropriate precautions during thunderstorms and ensure safety while driving or taking shelter in a vehicle.

Take a look at this lightning strike on a vehicle that was caught on camera:

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