Then you feel it and hear it, the force of the impact isn’t much but it’s firm enough to stop the kids screaming at each other and instead they begin a chorus of “o oh”.

You stop and get out, there’s no real damage to the car apart from a small scuff mark on the rear bumper bar, the sort of thing that should buff out with a bit of polish and some elbow grease.

You check out what you’ve backed into.

It’s a wooden power pole.

It looks fine apart from a small smear of red paint that used to belong to your car.

“No damage done you say,” so you get back in the car, tell the kids to pipe down (again) and continue on your journey safe in the knowledge that you just had a really close call.

But is everything ok?

Dan Browning, Ergon’s Senior Business Partner Health, Safety and Environment is quick to point out that this is the sort of thing that happens much too often and needs to be reported.

“It happens three or four times a week where a vehicle comes into contact with our network.

“A lot of the time it’s about the loss of power and loss of supply to customers which our crews have to respond to. But it’s also about the safety for the community, so where there’s an electrical hazard left behind, a person or small child could come into contact with that and potentially get seriously injured or killed.

Vehicles coming into contact with Ergon’s power poles and green pillar boxes are the most common problems.

In the case of power poles, the impact might only be minor but it could be enough to cause the powerlines to fall below the regulation height and then become an electrical hazard.

Pillar boxes can also be backed into or run over and the exposed live parts can therefore pose a threat to the public.

“We really need people to think about it and make sure they report any incident on 13 22 96.

“We can be contacted on that number 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“If you’re in a vehicle, you should stay in the car and call the 13 22 96 number from there.

“People just need to take note of where they are and if there’s any identifying numbers on the pole or pillar box and pass that on to the operator,” Mr Browning said.

“It’s just a matter of doing the right thing at the time and doing something about it. It’s about keeping people safe no matter when and where.”