Electrical Safety on the Road

Claiborne Electric knows that there’s no shortage of hazards on the road. But one danger that’s rarely addressed is fallen power lines. When disaster happens, our instincts sometimes drive us to move in and investigate. If you are dealing with downed power lines, however, this instinct must be ignored to avoid tragedy: every downed power line should be treated as a live line.

The safest method of dealing with any downed power line is to touch nothing. Don’t interact with downed power lines, anything they touch, or anything around the downed line. Instead, dial 911 while you secure the area, and do your best to keep others away from the downed line.

If you are in a vehicle:

  • DO NOT attempt to drive over or around the downed line
  • DO NOT attempt to move the line
  • DO NOT exit the vehicle, unless you can see flames or smell smoke from inside

If you can see fire or smell smoke from within your vehicle, you must follow a specific protocol to safely escape. Trying to escape from your vehicle by any method except this protocol can create a path for the electrical current to follow, with potentially fatal consequences.

To safely escape a vehicle that may be in contact with a downed power line:

  • Determine as best you can where the downed line is in relation to your vehicle
  • Position yourself within the vehicle to leap away from the downed line
  • Do not touch the ground and your vehicle at the same time
  • Jump clear of the vehicle with your feet firmly together
  • Keep your feet together as you land
  • Shuffle away from the scene of the accident without lifting your feet

Electrical currents can energize the ground and objects up to 35 feet away from the downed line. This range expands in wet conditions. NEVER attempt to move a downed line away from your vehicle yourself.

If you are on foot:

  • Stay at least 35 feet away from the scene
  • Touch nothing around the downed line
  • Dial 911
  • If there are other people in the area, warn them of the danger and tell them to stay back at least 35 feet

Downed power lines can be a serious hazard to both drivers and pedestrians. Don’t try to interact with it or any of its surroundings. Call the authorities and let trained professionals handle the situation.

Road Safety Videos

©2019 Claiborne Electric Coop | Site by: Schilling/Sellmeyer | Privacy Policy