Sunday, March 11, 2007

What happens when your car is struck by lightning?

Those nutters over at Top Gear decided to test this one out with a live human guniea pig. :) What I like about this clip is that it dispels the common myth that cars make you safe because of the "rubber tires". As the show rightly points out, if a bolt of lightning can jump three miles through air, which is a terribly good insulator, then it's not very likely to be hindered much by a few inches of rubber. (And even if it were, it would simply bypass the rubber and jump the air gap between the body and the earth.) Cars ARE safe, however, for an entirely different reason. Weather nerds already know that reason, but if you don't -- well, I've never seen it demonstrated quite so well as in the following clip:


CheekyGeek said...

"He's raising the woltage."

Anonymous said...

Not only would your car be fine after being struck by lightening, if there were a nuclear explosion with an EMP pulse, your car would be fine also. There is not much difference between a direct hit by lightening (like in the video) and being hit by an EMP wave from a remote exoatmospheric burst.

The standard "Nuclear War would destroy all electronics" is as much of a fraud as "Explosions make sounds in space".

Anonymous said...

That was not very wise..!I have been struck by lightning and know how it feels.I was pulseless for 36 mins and spent a month in ICU with multiple complications.!One thing about the car protecting you and i know it does but if you had the window or even the air vents open you could of been very seriously hurt.I know a man who was struck by lightning,while he was working at a bank and he was struck through the drivethrough`s speakers and he was sitting about three or four feet away from the speaker.I personally took a direct hit.I also know of a guy who was struck in his car,the lightning struck a railroad track and hit the car in front of him and jumped to his car.He had his window down and the car in front did not.Nobody was hurt in the first car,he on the over hand was not that fortunate,he did survive but was in a bad way.