The winter season is here which means snow! But it also means slower driving, blizzards, potential black ice, slush, wind, and all the other winter conditions that make driving harder than usual! It’s important to note that with all these wintery conditions comes an increase in the chance of your car skidding off the road. While losing control can be scary on its own, if you don’t know what you are doing after an accident occurs, the moments following an accident can prove to be more dangerous than the accident itself.

In a wintery accident, a car may slide off the road and into a power pole. The pole may fall down, lines may fall on your car or nearby, and the area around your car may become charged with electric energy. If you stepped out of the car in this scenario, your body would become the path to the ground for the electricity, and you could be electrocuted.

Power pole involved in a car accident

While some downed lines show they are live by sparking with electricity, this is not always the case. Power lines do not always show signs that they are live but are just as lethal.

Substation accident


To keep yourself and others safe, follow these safety measures:

  • Stay in the car after an accident with a power pole.
  • Warn those who try to come near your car to help that they must stay far away.
  • Call 911 for help, and wait until a professional from the electric utility tells you it is safe to leave the car.

If your car is on fire:

  • Jump clear of the vehicle without touching it and the ground at the same time.
  • Then slide your feet along the ground until you are away from the burning vehicle (at least 10 meters).

If you witness a car collision with a power pole, do not approach the accident. The best thing to do is contact emergency responders and stay far away from the accident.

Power lines may be difficult to see if they are covered in snow or ice, so be cautious if you must be out driving after a winter storm.

For more information on what to do in an accident, visit our informational video, “Car Crashes and Power Poles”.