Talk about a close call.
Dashcam video shows the moment the bolt of lightning strikes near the roadway as the officer walks nearby.
Lightning can be seen striking nearby as an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper assists a motorist.
(Oklahoma Highway Patrol)
“Woah! That was close!” the highway patrol said.
It did not appear the officer suffered any injuries.
Last year there were just 21 lightning-related fatalities, down from an average of 55 deaths per year in 2001.
The number of lightning fatalities from 2010 to 2020.
(Courtesy National Lightning Safety Council)
Jensenius said he’s found that people still believe lightning is attracted toward metal, even though it typically strikes the tallest object in the area. People would believe that having jewelry or metal in their pockets would somehow make them more susceptible to being struck.
“It’s simply the fact that they are outside,” he said.
Another myth is that rubber protects someone from lightning, since being in a vehicle during a thunderstorm is safer than being outside. But according to Jensenius, that’s due to a hard-topped metal vehicle and its metal shell being able to distribute the electric charge if it’s struck.
People also misjudge their distance from approaching storms, thinking that the lightning rise may be much farther away than it actually is.
“They are in danger as soon as they hear a distant rumble of thunder,” he said.