Take care, stay line aware at Easter

Published: 1 Apr 2021 11:20am

If powerlines fell on your vehicle after an accident – would you know what to do?

The answer to the question is one that could save your life.

Queenslanders hit power poles more than 250 times last year.

Often the first instinct in these situations is to get out of the vehicle, but according to Ergon Energy’s Community Safety Manager Aaron Smith this is the most dangerous thing to do.

“Without question, as long as there isn’t a secondary danger such as a fire, the safest course of action is to STAY, CALL, WAIT,” he said.

“That means, STAY in the vehicle, or 10 metres away if you’re a bystander, CALL 000 and WAIT for help.”

“If someone tries to step out of a vehicle with powerlines across it, there’s a high possibility the outside of the car is live, so when they touch the ground it will close the circuit and the electricity will run through their body to the ground.

“This can easily end in severe injury or instant death.”

Similarly, people who witness an accident often try to do the right thing and assist people in the vehicle, but according to Ergon Energy this issue presents the very same danger.

“If you see an accident and powerlines are on the vehicle, the safest place to be is 10 metres away, and the best way to help those inside is to call triple zero,” Mr Smith said.

“When you phone 000 make sure you make it clear there are powerlines causing an issue. That way they can have an Ergon crew dispatched to the scene to make it safe for the vehicle’s occupants, as well as emergency service workers when they arrive.”

But what’s the safest course of action if you’re stuck in the vehicle and there is a secondary danger like a fire and the occupants must get out of the car?

According to Mr Smith, the safest way is to open the vehicle door, look for clear ground without wires on it and jump as far away from the vehicle as possible, being careful not to touch the car or ground at the same time.

“Once you’re on the ground, shuffle your feet or jump with both feet together until you’re at least 10 metres away from the vehicle and wires,” Mr Smith said.

For more information on vehicle safety visit Powerlines And Car Accidents - Ergon Energy

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