Firies, Energex and Ergon share powerful life saving tips for drivers this Easter

12 April 2022

Stay, Call, Wait

Firies, Energex and Ergon have joined forces to highlight what to do if your vehicle ends up with powerlines across after a traffic crash.

Last year alone more than 750 motorists hit power poles and other electrical assets of which nearly 30 occurred over Easter.

Queensland’s firefighters and electricity crews are not only urging drivers to be extremely careful on the road over the Easter break, they also have lifesaving tips to follow if a vehicle does end up accidentally contacting powerlines or other electrical equipment.

Often the first instinct in such situations is to get out of the vehicle, but according to Energex General Manager Field Delivery Jeff Green this is the most dangerous thing to do.

“As long as there isn’t a secondary life-threatening danger such as a fire, without doubt the safest course of action is to STAY, CALL, WAIT,” Mr Green said.

“That means, STAY in the vehicle, CALL Triple Zero (000) and WAIT for help.”

“If someone tries to exit the vehicle with powerlines across it, there’s a possibility the outside of the car is live. When they touch the ground the voltage will run through their body, possibly ending in severe injury or death.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Stephen Smith said people who witnessed road traffic crashes often tried to assist those involved, potentially also putting themselves at risk of hazards.

“By touching the vehicle or any electrical equipment on the ground, well-intentioned by-standers may also find themselves in need of assistance,” Mr Smith said.

“Anyone who witnesses a traffic crash with powerlines or other electrical equipment contacting the vehicle should stay at least 10 metres clear of the incident and call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

“When you phone Triple Zero (000), make it clear that powerlines or electricity assets are involved. This allows the call-taker to dispatch an Energex or Ergon crew to the scene to assist firefighters and other emergency services.”

But what’s the best course of action if you’re stuck in the vehicle and there is a secondary danger like a fire and the occupants must get out of the car?

According to Mr Green, the safest way is to open the vehicle door, look for clear ground without wires on it and, whilst keeping your feet together, jump as far away from the vehicle as possible being careful not to touch the car or ground at the same time.

“Once you’re on the ground, shuffle your feet or jump until you’re at least 10 metres away from the vehicle and wires,” Mr Green said.