How motorists can avoid a fallen powerline emergency

April 6, 2023 9:43 am in by

Knowing what to do when electricity contacts your vehicle could save your life.

Ergon has issued a safety reminder for people hitting the road for Easter this weekend.

Area Manager Wayne Alderman says 90 vehicles crashed into Ergon equipment in Mackay and the Whitsundays last year.

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“In many of these situations we saw powerlines fall across vehicles or vehicles becoming stuck on our electrical equipment,” he says.

“In all of these circumstances, the best way to stay safe is to stay, call, wait.

“That is, stay in the vehicle, call triple zero and wait for emergency services and our crews to arrive.”

Mr Alderman is warning anyone trying to exit a vehicle in contact with electricity will inadvertently close the electrical circuit and suffer either life-threatening injuries or even instant death.

“Electricity will always take the shortest route to earth and if you step out of a vehicle that has power running through it, that person will become that conduit and risk severe injury or much worse,” he says.

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“Bystanders who think they’re doing the right thing trying to help people out of a car with lines across it may also suffer a severe electric shock or worse if they touch the vehicle. Although they’re just trying to help, they should saty at least 10 metres away and call triple zero.”

In the event occupants must leave the car due to secondary emergency such as a fire, motorists are urged to open the door, look for clear ground without wires on it and, whilst keeping your feet together, jump as far away from the vehicle as possible, being careful not to touch the car or ground at the same time.


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