I’m a mechanic… here’s how to stay safe during a thunderstorm – cars have a hidden feature that will save your life

An experienced mechanic has revealed how to stay safe in your car during a thunderstorm – there’s a hidden feature that could save your life.

Scotty Kilmer took to YouTube to share the handy safety tip with viewers as stormy weather approaches.

Scotty Kilmer explained why your car is one of the safest places to be during a thunderstorm


Scotty Kilmer explained why your car is one of the safest places to be during a thunderstormPhoto credit: YouTube/Scotty Kilmer

Scotty, who has worked in the automotive industry for more than 50 years, said: “One of the safest places to be during a thunderstorm is in your car.”

“It’s very safe for people in a car.”

He claimed that this was because cars sat on rubber tires and were therefore insulated from electricity despite having numerous metal components.

This supposedly means that if lightning strikes somewhere nearby, the electricity cannot be conducted through the ground into the car.

Scotty explained that he wears rubber-soled shoes for the same reason and that a recent lightning strike destroyed his car’s solar panel charger, but not the vehicle’s electrical system.

Although Scotty came to the correct conclusion, the science behind it is actually a bit more complicated.

Rubber wheels do not provide adequate protection from lightning and you should never touch the metal parts of your car if lightning strikes.

The National Lightning Safety Institute in America said: “Rubber tires do not provide protection from lightning.”

“After all, lightning has traveled for miles across the sky: four to five inches of rubber is no insulation at all.”

However, it is completely safe to be in a car during a thunderstorm.

This is due to the way electricity is passed through objects, with the car’s frame acting as a Farraday cage.

Named after Michael Faraday, a pioneering physicist in the field of electromagnetism, the term refers to the fact that electricity is largely conducted through the outside of metal structures.

This way, the car’s outer frame bears the brunt of a lightning strike, while the conductive components inside receive very little voltage.

This was even put to the test in the fourth season of Top Gear when Richard Hammond climbed out of a car unharmed after it was struck by man-made lightning.

Just be careful not to touch any metal parts or use the doors, windows, radio or steering wheel.

The official advice is to pull over, turn on your hazard lights, turn off the engine and wait for the storm to pass.

There are also some notable exceptions where convertibles and fiberglass-bodied cars are not protected.

And this advice is particularly timely as Storm Agnes brought 75mph winds and flooding to the UK last night.

The Met Office has announced a series of yellow weather warnings, with more stormy weather imminent.

Read more at the Scottish Sun

This comes after two major car brands recalled millions of engines due to fire risks.

Meanwhile, Scotty explained to viewers why he believes electric vehicles are a disaster and could even be deadly.

Alley Einstein

Alley Einstein is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Alley Einstein joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing Alley@ustimespost.com.

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