Power Pole Car Accident Safety
In traumatic situations, it may be instinctive to flee as soon as possible. A car accident is a good example of this. However, if you are in a car accident with a power line, the safest place is often inside the car.
When a car crashes into a power pole, the pole may fall down, lines may fall on your car or nearby, and the area around your car may become charged with electric energy. If you step out of the car in this scenario, your body becomes the path to ground for the electricity, and you could be electrocuted.
While downed lines sometimes show they are live by arcing and sparking with electricity, this is not always the case. Power lines do not always show signs that they are live, but they are just as lethal.
Stay in the car if you are in a car accident with a power pole. Warn those who try to come near your car to help that they must stay far away. Call 911 for help, and wait until a professional from the electric utility tells you it is safe to leave the car.
The exception to this rule is if your car is on fire. In that case, jump clear of the vehicle without touching it and the ground at the same time. Then hop away with feet together. This way, there will not be a voltage difference between your two feet, which would give electricity the chance to flow through your body.
If you witness a car collision with a power pole, do not approach the accident. By trying to help, you will put your own life at risk. The best thing to do is contact emergency responders and stay far away from the accident.
Don’t Post on Poles
It may seem like it’s ok to put signs and other items on utility poles, but putting garage sale signs, flags, election signs, birthday party balloons, lost pet posters or other items on utility poles creates serious safety hazards.
Staples, nails and tacks used to hang signs — as well as the signs themselves — pose dangers to lineworkers who must climb poles when restoring power or while performing routine maintenance. The nails and tacks left behind can snag lineworkers’ boots or puncture protective clothing and gloves, putting the lineworkers at risk of slipping or even electrocution.
Crews respond to power outages during storms and at night, which may prevent them from seeing an item on a pole. Going pole to pole taking down signs, in case work needs to be done on utility poles or lines, takes time and manpower — and this takes away from their everyday work improving service.
Hanging things from utility poles may also present dangers to the community, putting individuals at risk of making accidental contact with energized power lines.
We appreciate your help in keeping utility poles clear and our lineworkers safe.