What to do if a car hits a utility pole and damages it

When a vehicle hits a utility pole, a power line can fall down. There’s a high risk of severe electric shock. Warning: In the panic after an accident, you could easily fail to notice a fallen power line.

If you’re inside a vehicle that may be in contact with a power line

  1. 1

    Stay in your vehicle and don’t touch any metal parts of the vehicle. Remain calm.

  2. 2If you can, call 911 immediately and tell them electrical equipment has been damaged by the accident.
  3. 3If a bystander wants to help you, tell them not to approach the vehicle and, above all, not to touch it.

If you witness the accident

  1. 1

    Do not approach the vehicle and do not touch it. Stay at least 10 m away.

  2. 2Tell whoever is inside the vehicle to stay there. Immediately call 911 and tell them electrical equipment has been damaged by the accident.
  3. 3Tell anyone in the vicinity to stay well away from the vehicle and not to touch it.

Wait for the emergency crews to arrive

  1. 1Do not take any action until Hydro-Québec workers give you the all-clear.
  2. 2If you are inside the vehicle, stay calm and stay put.
  3. 3If you’re a bystander or witness, reassure whoever is inside the vehicle while staying at a distance of at least 10 m. Keep the person from trying to exit the vehicle.

If you are inside the vehicle but in imminent danger (if the vehicle is on fire, etc.)

Step1 of 4

Open the door wide from inside the vehicle, touching only the handle.

Step2 of 4

Put your feet together on the edge of the doorframe. Keep your arms close to your body.

Step3 of 4

Keep your feet together as you jump out, ensuring that you never touch any metal part of the vehicle and the ground at the same time.

Step4 of 4

Hop away from the vehicle, keeping your feet together until you are at least 10 m away from the vehicle or any fallen power lines.