WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

I have always heard that the safest place during a storm was a motor vehicle.(electrical) Now I am hearing that it is not true. What is the answer?

Posted July 13, 2008

MIKE MOSS SAYS:       Audrey,   It has always been the case that a substantial fully enclosed structure like a house,  school, office building or mall is a safer place to be than in a vehicle of any kind, provided you aren't standing by an open window or touching some object like a phone or applicance that is connected by wire to the outside. However, it is all somewhat relative and you have to consider the alternatives. Compared to being caught out in the open when a storm is active, lightning safety experts consider most hard-top, fully enclosed cars, trucks and buses to be fairly safe locations, with the caveat that it is best if you avoid touching any metal objects that have a conducting pathway to the outside. Open-top or soft-top vehicles are not considered good protection, and there are question marks as well regarding cars with non-metallic (i.e. plastic or fiberglass) exteriors.

 

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