Can I jump my car in a thunderstorm?

Answered by Jason Smith

Jump starting a car in a thunderstorm is a situation that many people may find themselves in at some point. While it is important to prioritize safety in any weather condition, there are certain precautions you can take to minimize the risks involved.

First and foremost, the main concern when jump starting a car in a thunderstorm is the potential danger of being struck by lightning. Lightning strikes can be extremely dangerous and even deadly. Therefore, it is crucial to assess the risk and prioritize your safety above all else.

If you find yourself in a thunderstorm and your car needs a jump start, here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

1. Assess the severity of the thunderstorm: If the storm is particularly intense with frequent lightning strikes, it is advisable to wait until the storm passes. Your safety should always be the top priority.

2. Seek shelter: If possible, try to find a covered area or a building nearby where you can safely wait out the storm. This will keep you protected from any potential lightning strikes.

3. Do not stand near metal objects: While waiting for the storm to pass, it is important to avoid standing near metal objects such as fences, poles, or trees. These objects can attract lightning and increase the risk of being struck.

4. Stay inside your vehicle: If you are unable to find shelter and must remain near your car, it is generally safer to stay inside the vehicle. The metal frame of the car will act as a Faraday cage, providing some level of protection against lightning strikes.

5. Wait for professional help: If you are unable to safely jump start your car during a thunderstorm, it may be best to wait for professional assistance. Calling a roadside assistance service or a professional tow truck can ensure that the jump start is done safely and professionally.

It is important to note that jump starting a car in a thunderstorm is not inherently more dangerous than changing a tire or performing other tasks outside of your vehicle. The key risk lies in the potential of being struck by lightning while being outside for an extended period of time.

While it is generally advisable to avoid jump starting a car during a thunderstorm due to the potential risks of lightning strikes, there are precautions you can take to minimize the danger. Assess the severity of the storm, seek shelter if available, avoid standing near metal objects, and consider waiting for professional assistance if necessary. Prioritizing your safety is always paramount in any weather condition.