Is it safe to drive a car during a thunderstorm, and should you be afraid of lightning

By Jurassic JennMay 1, 2024 20:45 PMCars
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Should you be afraid of lightning in a car?
Should you be afraid of lightning in a car?. Source: pexels.com

Any extreme weather conditions are dangerous for driving. A thunderstorm is no exception in this regard, as it can escalate into a severe storm, featuring heavy rain, strong gusts of wind, and the potential for trees falling onto the road. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to wait out the storm in a shelter, it is advisable to do so.

For instance, The Sun reports that cyclists, motorcyclists, and vehicles with high sides are at the greatest risk during adverse weather conditions. "Driving in a thunderstorm is potentially dangerous due to flooding, mud on the roads, blockages in the streets, and gusts of strong winds," the newspaper points out. SSPDaily told more about it.

What should you do if you find yourself in a car during a thunderstorm?

Experts recommend closing the windows, parking on the side of the road, turning on the emergency lights, and staying in the car until the storm subsides.

If you are compelled to continue driving, slow down, as heavy rain reduces visibility, and both wipers and headlights may be insufficient.

Additionally, maintain a safe distance from the nearest car and avoid getting too close, as it can be challenging to react and slow down in time under such conditions.

Is it safe to be in a car during a thunderstorm?

There is an opinion that the safety of passengers during a thunderstorm is ensured by the rubber tires of the vehicle. This is not true.

In fact, it is safe to be in a car because, according to the laws of physics, lightning that hits it passes through the surface of the car and goes into the ground.

What happens to passengers if lightning strikes a car?

Most cars have a metal roof and frame. This means that the frame acts as a conductive Faraday cage, directing the current around the passengers inside and onto the ground.

However, this does not provide a 100% guarantee that the people inside will not get hurt, so it is better not to push your luck.

What is a Faraday cage?

A Faraday cage is a metal shell that protects objects inside it when hit by a high-voltage discharge, such as lightning.

The British physicist Michael Faraday developed this concept after discovering through experiments that a metal cage, acting like a good conductor, directs current around objects and safely diverts it to the ground.

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