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Bad Weather Means You Need to Watch for Downed Trees, Power Lines

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When a storm decides to deluge your area with rain, be extra vigilant when you are on the road. A driver in Charleston, West Virginia (WV) was killed after their car hit a downed tree on Matchlock Road, according to the West Virginia Gazette.

Most of us are cognizant of other cars and the slickness of the road when a thunderstorm hits, but we do not usually contemplate encountering a massive tree branch or downed power line. This is why it is so critical to be prepared when/if you suddenly approach either item on the street.

You need to remain calm and apply moderate pressure to your brakes so you do not suddenly skid out and wind up slamming into the tree or driving across a “hot” power line. This can be challenging, especially if there are other vehicles around you or you come across the tree or power line around a turn. This is why being extremely vigilant and going slightly below the speed limit is necessary in these situations. You should not be speeding immediately after a major storm came through town. Caution is the name of the game.

If you wind up driving over a downed power line, be extremely careful. Do not try to get out of your car since the line may have energized your vehicle (the metal on your car is a conductor for electricity) and touching the door could electrocute you. Call 911 right away. If you do not have a phone, call for help and ask whoever arrives to call for help. It is important that they do not try to get you out since touching any metal portion of your car may electrocute them.

These situations may sound like freak occurrences, but car accident deaths involving downed trees and power lines occur more often than you may think. Once again, to avoid these situations, be extremely cognizant of your surroundings after a major storm and stay calm if you find yourself approaching a fallen tree branch or power line in the road.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.