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How You Should Deal with Downed Power Lines

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Autumn in Indiana brings severe weather. All too often with these storms come extra damages, including downed power lines. For most of us, that means outages that may throw wrenches in our plans but are otherwise more inconvenience than danger.

But what if you come across downed power lines while you’re driving around the Indianapolis metropolitan area? Now you’ve crossed into risky territory, and the effects of improperly addressing the situation can be dire — even deadly.

What You Shouldn’t Do

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As long as it’s up to you, do not come into contact with the downed power lines in any way. This includes everything from using your bare hands to move the cables to driving over them with your car.

Even on the ground, power lines can still have a current running through them, and touching them in any way may cause that circuit to include you.

If the damage is the result of a storm and water puddles have accumulated on the edge of the road or around the downed lines, do not touch the water.

If the damage is because of a crash and the vehicle is still in contact with the utility pole or the power lines themselves, do not touch the car or attempt to get the passengers out of the vehicle by yourself. And if someone is touching the power line already, don’t touch them either, even in an attempt to help them.

What You Should Do

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Call 911.

It’s really that simple. If you’re not personally involved in a car accident with the utility pole, contact emergency services. They’ll employ trained workers to deal with the issue safely. The power in the area may be down for a while, but that’s a small price to pay for safe travel lanes in the metro area.

On the other hand, if you’ve collided with a utility pole and brought the lines down, stay in your vehicle. As long as there’s no immediate threat of fire, your vehicle is the safest place you can be. From there, you can call emergency services and wait for help to arrive.

When other vehicles enter the vicinity, roll down your windows (if you can do so safely) to communicate with those who stop. They can contact emergency services if you’re unable, and passersby may be able to serve as eyewitnesses if you want to file a claim.  

If, however, fire is a factor, ensure you have a safe path out of your vehicle, one that won’t require you to come in contact with the more conductive parts of the car — namely, anything metal. Once you’ve determined that, jump out of the vehicle, making sure both feet hit dry ground at the same time.

Help from an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer

Downed power lines are a hazard no matter how you approach them. If you’ve been injured in a power line or utility pole-related collision because of someone else’s recklessness, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your claim. Our Indianapolis car accident lawyers are here to help.