This morning, a driver was in a car accident and slammed into a Poudre Valley REA power pole near Wellington, causing the entire pole and live lines to come down. Almost 200 people were out of power from the accident.
In traumatic situations, like the car accident this morning, it may be instinctive to flee as soon as possible. However, if you are in a car accident with a power line, the safest place is often inside the car.
Power poles carry high, potentially fatal levels of electricity. If you are in an accident with one, your whole vehicle may be charged with electricity. If you step out, you will become the electricity’s path to the ground and could be killed by an electric shock.
The only circumstance when you should exit the vehicle is if it is on fire. If you must exit the vehicle, jump clear of it with your feet together, and continue to “bunny hop” with your feet together so that you will not have different strengths of electric current running from one foot to another.
Car accidents with downed lines are not just dangerous for those involved. Well-meaning bystanders may try to approach the car to help. Warn them to stay away from the accident until utility professionals and emergency responders have confirmed that there are no electrical dangers.