A new report attempts to inform citizens of the danger posed when a vehicle is struck by lightning. It’s clear from the information on hand that the severity of the threat will hinge on what kind of vehicle is being driven and how the persons inside react.
The story provides guidance from the National Lightning Safety Institute. The president of that organization states that vehicles that are made completely of metal and that don’t provide openings to the outside are going to be safer than others. A vehicle that is made partially of fiberglass or that has its windows or top down puts persons inside at greater risk.
When a bolt of lightning strikes an all-metal vehicle, the metal encases occupants in a sort of protective shell, leaving the lightning to move across the surface but not touch those inside. If such a strike happens, occupants can protect themselves even further by keeping their hands away from things like the shifter, the handles and levers on windows and doors, and even the steering wheel. Touching these objects could cause a shock.
If you ever find yourself in the middle of a thunderstorm, the NLSI recommends pulling over and turning the automobile off. You can wait until the storm passes and follow the advice above just in case the vehicle gets struck.