Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - It's almost hurricane season in Louisiana, and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is urging everyone to get prepared in case a storm has south Louisiana in its sites. Whether it's a hurricane or strong storms like we recently saw effect St. Landry Parish, downed power lines become a real possibility.

We all know downed powerlines are dangerous and avoid them at all costs. But what happens if one falls on your car while you're in it? Do you know how to safely escape? Louisiana State Trooper Thomas Gossen visited Acadiana's Morning News on KPEL and brought the issue to our attention.

Any one of a few scenarios could result in a power line falling on your car. You may be in your car during a Louisiana thunderstorm, and the line falls onto it. You could be involved in an accident that breaks a pole or shakes it enough to cause the power line to come down and land on your vehicle.

power line on car

Our instinct would be to get out of the car immediately but, if you don't do it properly, the outcome would be tragic.

An electric company in the Midwest cautions you to follow the following steps if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where a downed power line is on your car:

  • Assume it's live and has power flowing through it.
  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Stay in your vehicle.
  • If you see anyone approaching your car to help, shout to let them know not to come near. Their lives could be in danger, too.

WikiHow explains that even one person exiting a car incorrectly could be disastrous for everyone in the vehicle.

If the situation is life-threatening or there is smoke or fire, you need to follow very specific steps to survive:

  • Open the door.
  • Jump out with both feet together. DO NOT let any part of your body touch any part of the car at the same time.
  • Slowly shuffle or hop with away from the car your feet close together until you are at least 35-50 feet away from the car. The ground may also be energized.

Louisiana drivers should familiarize themselves with these steps. While it may not happen often, power lines have fallen on cars and knowing how to survive if important.

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