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Safe in a car during a lightning storm, confirmed

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by stg58, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+ Founding Member

    I have always heard you are safer in a car during a lighting storm which made sense but this video lends more credence to that.

    If that happened to me my ham gear would be fried and I would need a change of underwear....

  2. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    More credence, true, but not safe. "With three tires blown out?" their electrical buffer or "Dielectric" is now completely gone. the rubber of the tires, helped isolate them from the roadbed. when the first tire blew, the axle dropped with it. the rims are now sitting on the road. Their potential is now much higher, and a second strike will do much more damage. I have seen drywall blown completely off the walls of a house, by a strike on a wall with a water leak. water flashed to steam, and when off like a bomb. left the nails behind, glowing red and smoking....lightning is some serious sh@t.
  3. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    The safety of a car is not because of the tires. As these boys discovered the car was still hit inspite of the insulation from the tires as the lightning still made it's way to ground easy enough. The safety comes from the car routing the current around the occupants and to ground (it jumps to ground, and blew out the tires in the process in this example) and preempts it from going through the occupants. The lack of insulation from the roadway with blown tires just slightly increases the attractiveness of the car for the lightning to hit but has little effect on the protection the car offers.

  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    The tires decrease the potential of getting hit at all. without tires, the risk increases. The occupants are safer than outdoors, but very few people sit safely away from every metal fitting, and bolt while driving. most tend to lean on the doors, the steering column, and the springs and adjusters for the seats, are bolted to the body. There is LESS risk, but NOT safe. Just like downed power wires on a car. (only much more powerful)
  5. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Yup, it's amazing, and still mysterious.

    kellory likes this.
  6. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+ Founding Member

    Make no mistake about my respect/fear of lightning, having been on many a power pole repairing outages as more storms rolled in. In a car on the rims? walking? On a pole? In the car!
    It is astounding how lightning will ride power jump to cable then ground or phone and then hit the house and kill every device in the house and ride the underground phone drop to the next house and set the closet full of kids games on fire.

    I still love/hate the managers, be safe don't go up and in the next transmission "when will the outage be fixed"..
  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Yeah, I get that too. "How soon will you be done there?"o_O "I'd be done faster if you folks would quit bugging me!!!":mad:
  8. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    I have had 2 close calls with lightning, so when it's around I try and get inside ASAP. One time was out deer hunting while carrying my lightning rod (rifle) and the other time was out fishing. Hunting was a strike behind me, so close that I felt the heat, while running as fast as I could down the hill. Fishing was laying flat in an open field while multiple lake strikes came right over me.
  9. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Have been caught in storms while back packing a couple times. We scattered the troop, downed our backpacks, and sat on them. Hopefully that way we would not get ground current from close strikes. It is a very humbling experience to get caught with no protection. Hid in a farm tractor's cab once. Will take a vehicle anytime.
  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Yep, the car acts as a Faraday Cage for the lightning to pass around the people, but nothing you want to protect can be touching the metal of the cage.
  11. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I remember in SW Florida, I had to pull over several times at least to wait out a storm. Sometimes the deluge would be so severe, no amount of wipers will clear your windshield, and I never wanted to be the guy someone else runs into, either. A lot about lightning is still shaky, like whether or not driving on a road actually breaks the conductivity or excites it --but my guess is, don't tempt mother nature. =)
    Mountainman, VisuTrac and BTPost like this.
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