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Stormy season is here and lightning is a very dangerous if it hits your car while you are driving. People think that the tires on a car provide protection if your car gets hit by a lightning bolt. This is simply incorrect and a myth that has been widespread for years. Rubber tires are simply not enough to protect you from a lightning storm.

If you are the one in 1,101,000 chance that you get hit by lightning, the car acts as a “Faraday Cage” transmitting the lightning charge around the metal exterior of the car into the ground. There is no hard evidence of this and there have been many instances of individuals injured in a lightning storm while driving. At lightning’s higher frequencies, the currents are carried mostly on the outside of conducting objects. A copper wire or a large metal pipe will carry the charges on the exterior surfaces according to the National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI). The NLSI puts out warnings that you may not be safe in a vehicle, especially if it is fiberglass. The NLSI also reported that some vehicles struck by lightning experience external damage, pitting and arcing, as well as internal damage to electrical systems and components.

There are reports of a woman’s car being hit by lightning and frying the vehicle’s electrical system. The airbags deployed on her due to the sudden shutdown of the engine from the lightning attack, she was not injured. While other reports show damages of melted metal and blown out windows. The damage from a lightning bolt can be severe, but it can also do absolutely nothing.

Precautions when a lightning storm is on its way and you are driving should include pulling off to the side of the road, turning off the engine and folding your hands in your lap. Be careful not to touch any metal. You should sit out the storm prior to continuing to drive. If your vehicle is struck by lightning, once the electrical current has passed through the vehicle and entered the ground it is safe to exit the vehicle. Many individuals think that the voltage from a lightning strike stays in the metal, it does not. Always remember to take precaution in a storm that could include lightning.

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