What Happens When Lightning Hits A Car

What Happens When Lightning Hits A Car

What Happens When Lightning Hits A Car?

This may be very surprising, but your car can get struck by lightning. Contrary to popular belief, your car’s rubber tires won’t prevent your vehicle from being hit by lightning.

This prevalent myth has been debunked many times. Lightning has a higher chance of hitting a car than other objects.

Despite this, many still say that you should hide in a car if you can’t stay safe from lightning in a building.

This article will look at what will happen to your car if it gets hit with lightning. We are also going to discuss what you should do if your vehicle is struck by lightning. Additionally, we will look at if you are safe from lightning in a car.

What Happens When Lightning Hits A Car?

As we now know, your car can still be hit by lightning regardless of the rubber tires. When lightning strikes a vehicle, it will hit your car antenna or the outer metal shell in most cases. The lightning will then travel through the outer shell and pass through to the car’s rubber tires into the ground.

You need to note that every lightning strike is different, so the amount of damage that your vehicle will suffer varies.

Lightening is exceptionally volatile and is four times the heat of the sun. Certain types of damage are common with lightning strikes. A typical lightning strike can cause your car’s antenna to melt partially. This is due to the antenna usually being the focal point for the strike.

Lightning strikes can wreak havoc with your car’s electrical system and can often wholly fry the electrical components. Lightning strikes affect both the interior and exterior of your car, and both can suffer damages. Your car’s side mirrors could fuse to the car.

The paint on your car can become scorched, and your car’s windshield can be shattered. In worst-case scenarios, a car hit by lightning can be destroyed and result in life loss.

Why Is This Important?

It is essential to know how lighting can affect a car. If you know how lightning hits a vehicle, you know the damages. It is also crucial to understand how lightning travels through a car.

This is so you are mindful not to place your hands on any exposed metal of the vehicle. A lightning strike is likely to pass through the car’s outer shell.

What To Do If Lightning Hits Your Car

Should lightning hit your car, it’s important not to panic. During a lightning storm, your car’s roof allows electricity from the lightning strike to travel along the outside of your car’s shell. Theoretically, anything inside the vehicle should remain unharmed if the occupants don’t touch anything metal.

This means that you should not hold your cellphone, touching your door handles, steering wheel, and car radio. If lightning hits your car, stay inside the vehicle until the storm clears.

However, should you notice any sparks or see signs of a potential explosion, you will need to exit the car safely. Take note that you shouldn’t touch the vehicle’s exterior for some time following a lightning strike as the car could still conduct electricity.

Can Your Car Get Struck By Lightning

Why Is This Important?

If you know what to do when your car is hit by lightning, it could be the difference between life and death. You will also be able to potentially prevent yourself from getting any injuries if you stay in a vehicle during any lightning storm and don’t touch anything metal.

Are You Safe From Lightning In A Car?

During a lightning storm, you can seek shelter in a hard-topped car. Don’t seek refuge in a car with a soft-top like a convertible as the lightning will pass through the vehicle and is likely to strike you. No open space outside is safe for you during a lightning storm.

You can use a car to stay safe during a storm. You might think it wouldn’t be safe to stay in during a storm, but it is.

A car is one of the absolute safest places you can be as the car’s shell acts as a faraday cage. Sitting in the car, keeping your hands in your lap, and waiting out a storm should enable you to escape the storm with no injuries.

Importantly don’t leave your windows down during a lightning storm as this will make your car an unsafe place to be. The lightning will enter the vehicle, and you could get seriously injured.

Why Is This Important?

Staying in a car during a storm is one of the safest places for you to seek shelter if you do not have a building nearby. A vehicle will prevent serious injuries should you not touch anything metal while you wait out the storm.

Where To Situate Your Car During A Lightning Storm

Lightning storms are hazardous events. Luckily if you are in your car when one breaks out, this is one of the safest places that you could be. When driving in your vehicle and you start to hear thunder, lightning is sure to be close behind.

If you cannot make it home, then you need to seek shelter for at least thirty minutes until you hear the last sound of thunder.

Avoid parking in elevated areas such as hills and mountains, as lightning strikes there first. You will want to ease off the road and park somewhere in a low-lying area. However, do not park under any trees or near any water bodies such as ponds or lakes.

You must also stay away from any objects that can conduct electricity like telephone poles and wire fences.

Why Is This Important?

Parking in a low area is vital if you want to minimize your car’s risk of being hit by lightning.

Final Words

To conclude, your car can be struck by lightning. However, your vehicle is also one of the safest places that you can be during a lightning storm.

If you close your windows and keep your hands placed in your lap, you will likely get through a lightning storm unscathed.