Tires won't protect you when lightning strikes your car

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Tires won't protect you when lightning strikes your car

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Ethan Miller
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

To the contrary of what many think, it is not the tires that protect you when lightning strikes your car.

The cloud-to-car lightning will usually hit the antenna or top parts of the roof, then travel through the metal shell of the car, through the tires to the ground.

If you are ever caught driving in a thunderstorm, it is best to pull over and shelter inside a building away from doors and windows.

If you absolutely can’t pull over and lightning strikes your car, here are some tips:

  • Do not try to get out right away from your car. It might still be charged.
  • Do not touch any metal objects or parts in your car.
  • Keep your hands to yourself.

It is possible for the antenna to melt after lightning strikes it. There have been cases of tires melting and car catching on fire. Remember, lightning is 53,540 degrees Fahrenheit!

Convertibles and cars made with fiberglass materials will not protect you at all from lightning.

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