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Registered User
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Discussion Starter #1
Lightning strikes police car
January 24, 2004

WHEN the truckie behind Inspector Peter Phillips saw lightning strike the NSW police officer's brand new patrol car, he feared the worst.

All four tyres blew on the new Ford and the vehicle careered to the side of the road covered in scorch marks and with the horn and the siren blazing.

But seconds later the truck driver was amazed to see a shaken but unharmed police officer leap out of the car.

"He said, `I can't believe you're still alive, your bloody police car was lit up like a Christmas tree'," Insp Phillips said.

Insp Phillips had been driving from Gundagai to Tumut in southern NSW on Wednesday night - one of the many trips he makes to regional stations in his role as a staff officer.










He was doing about 90kmh on Gocup Road about 8pm (AEDT) when he saw a thunderstorm brewing up ahead.

"I was bit worried about hailstones because it was a brand new patrol car," he said.

As it turned out hailstones were the least of his worries.

Lightning struck the car, melted the aerial, scorched the bonnet and boot and burst all four tyres.

"The experience was like being in an electric lightbulb," he said.

A shaken Insp Phillips jumped out of the car as soon as it stopped because he thought it would catch on fire.

It was midnight before the stricken car and its shaken driver ended up back in Tumut, where his troubles continued.

"By the time I got into Tumut I needed a stiff drink and I couldn't find any place open after midnight," Insp Phillips said.

Lightning safety expert Michael Makdissi said Insp Phillips - who thought he was in the wrong place at the wrong time - was in fact in just the right place.

"The car is generally one of the safest places, but you've got to have all the windows closed," he said.

"It sort of acts as a conductor around the body, so it hits the roof and goes through the body of the vehicle and then down through the tyres into the ground so you're fairly safe."

Insp Phillips said he didn't get an electric shock and was okay now.

However he did have trouble explaining to his boss what had happened to his brand new car.

AAP


http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,8481620%5E1702,00.html
 

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YES its a 5 Speed!!
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2,242 Posts
maybe the cop booked god for speeding on his cloud... what goes around comes around i guess, hahaha :muha:
 

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Registered
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i gather he was in shock then?(lame joke) ROFLMFAO
 

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BA Fairmont ZL Fairlane
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let me guess ...... theres no pics floating around?
i gotta see that!
 

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Falcon 2.. Ferrari 0 hehe
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WE WNAT PICS WE WANT PICS!

geez... ill keep my windows closed during a thunderstom then hehe
 

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Crazed Cone Chaser
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I'm pretty sure it doesnt really matter if your windows are open or closed, but whether or not you have any part of your body protuding through the window, as electricity will arc at the closest point possible, and if your arm is out the window, it is closer
 

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Crazed Cone Chaser
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theman said:
who drives around in the middle of a storm with their windows down anyway?
Well, there is a very good point indeed... :rofl2:
 

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More horsepower required
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MADXF said:
I'm pretty sure it doesnt really matter if your windows are open or closed, but whether or not you have any part of your body protuding through the window, as electricity will arc at the closest point possible, and if your arm is out the window, it is closer
Close , but not quite ..
Electricity will find the path of least resistance , and seeing your body is made up of 60% water , this is why you should have your windows closed .
The arc will always hit the car first because its a large metal object that the leading charge has sought for its strike to earth ( path of least resistance in the area at the time ) .
If you are in the way ( arm out window) when it strikes , goodnight Irene .
 

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Registered User
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I must have been awake that day in my Year 1 physics class :)

From How Stuff works and I found:

"The reason you are safe in a car is because the lightning will travel around the surface of the vehicle and then go to ground. This occurs because the vehicle acts like a Faraday cage.Michael Faraday, a British physicist, discovered that a metal cage would shield objects within the cage when a high potential discharge hit the cage. The metal, being a good conductor, would direct the current around the objects and discharge it safely to the ground. This process of shielding is widely used today to protect the electrostatic sensitive integrated circuits in the electronics world. "
 

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Falcon 2.. Ferrari 0 hehe
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i drive with the window open in the rain, i gotta have fresh cold air, the vents arnt enough,
 

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I am The Brain
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Yikes! I knew that being struck by lightning while in a car doesn't hurt you in practice (A lightning special on TV)....but to see it actually works in real life is a bit of a relief. Can't believe he didn't even feel a shock.
 
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