Sunday kicked off Lightning Safety Awareness Week so this week’s weather question is appropriately:
“How safe are you from lightning in your car?”
Your car is actually the safest place you can be if you’re stuck outside in a storm and cannot make it inside.
Many people believe it’s the rubber tires on your car which act as good insulators that keep you safe, but actually it’s the metal frame of your car that protects you.
If lightning were to strike your car, the current travels over the roof, down the car and to the ground – keeping you safe inside. If you ever took physics class, you’ll remember this acts like a partial Faraday’s cage.
In case you ever get stuck in a thunderstorm with lightning, pull over, turn your hazards on and put your hands in your lap. Avoid touching anything on your car or talking on the phone.
If your car is made of fiberglass or you have a convertible, you won’t have the protection of Faraday’s cage since the car’s frame isn’t metal; however, it is less likely to be struck by lightning because of this.
To submit your own weather or science related question, email Meteorologist Carmen Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.