When you drive in and around Oklahoma City, you probably do not pay much attention to utility poles and overhead electrical wires. Colliding with a utility pole may have deadly consequences, however. Recently, a Texas man electrocuted himself when stepping on downed wires after knocking over a utility pole with his car.
While you may never encounter a downed pole or exposed wires, you should know how to react should an incident occur. Taking four simple steps may save your life.
- Call 911
After any type of accident, it is a good idea to alert the police. Law enforcement officers know how to investigate crashes and assign blame for them. Calling 911 after colliding with a utility pole is particularly important. Doing so alerts police officers, firefighters, electrical workers and medics to the potentially dangerous situation.
- Remain in your vehicle
Fallen electrical wires may energize the ground, making the area around your vehicle hazardous. Also, downed wires may be hard to see, especially if you are experiencing disorientation or confusion after a crash. Therefore, you should remain in your vehicle until emergency services arrive. Then wait for official instructions before doing anything else.
- Watch for signs of fire
While staying inside your vehicle is usually a safe strategy, you do not want to be caught inside a burning car, truck or SUV. If you notice any signs of fire, such as smoke or noxious fumes, you must exit the vehicle.
When you do, be sure not to touch the ground and your car at the same time. Instead, jump from the vehicle and land on both feet. Then, shuffle your feet until you are at least 30 feet away from downed wires.
- Warn others
The helpful people of Oklahoma City often stop to render aid after car accidents. You do not want to endanger good Samaritans, though. Accordingly, warn anyone who is near the accident scene about the hazardous situation.
With luck, you may never run into a utility pole. Nevertheless, to stay safe, you must be aware of how to react if an unexpected collision occurs.