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driving through a thunderstorm last night, I had a terrifying thought. With all the computer systems in the Prius, does anyone have a clue what would happen if struck by lightning? - - - on my old truck, lightning just fried the input coil in the radio, but the truck was really low-tech.



2005, option 6, millenium silver
 

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It's pretty hard to buy ANY vehicle these days that doesn't have a lot of electronic components and a computer in there somewhere... Anyone tried to claim on their comprehensive for a lightning strike?
 
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Logan01 said:
driving through a thunderstorm last night, I had a terrifying thought. With all the computer systems in the Prius, does anyone have a clue what would happen if struck by lightning?
I think it'd just crap out, like most others on the road.

Among computers (desktop, server, mainframe and the like) lightning is the great equalizer, and equal-opportunity oppressor.

I like to think the rubber on the road makes a nice insulator. Will some kind EE set me straight?

Seriously, let the thought go. You won't know the answer to your question until such a thing happens, and well, that won't be a GOOD day.
 

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Nothing.

Top Gear did a test where they send Richard into a Golf MV (the newest one) and zapped the car with 800,000 volts. Yes, error lights came on but after the electricity was turned off, the lights worked, radio worked and the car started and he drove off.
 

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Most of the time, the lightning will just go around the metal shell of the car and arc to the ground since the wheels prevent direct electrical contact to ground.

However, because of the extreme high voltage and current, lightning can take some really strange and unpredictable paths. Also, even if the lightning itself doesn't reach the electronics, the electromagnetic field it generates might give some issues.

So, lightning could do harm, but I doubt it will. Besides, there's other stuff usually around that lightning would prefer to strike besides your car.
 

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Even though the windows make it imperfect, cars genearally act as a Faraday cage, which causes the electricty to flow around the vehicle. Trust me, if you tend to worry, you don't want to know how often airliners are struck by lightning. Usually there is no real effect. But as DanMan32
said lightning can be very strange and almost anything can happen.
 

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Adios said:
Logan01 said:
driving through a thunderstorm last night, I had a terrifying thought. With all the computer systems in the Prius, does anyone have a clue what would happen if struck by lightning?
I think it'd just crap out, like most others on the road.

Among computers (desktop, server, mainframe and the like) lightning is the great equalizer, and equal-opportunity oppressor.
[/quote}

well, a few years ago my apartment building was hit by lightning. At the time I lived on the ground floor of the 3 floor building. The lightning went through the fire alarm system, found the buzzer/alarm in my apartment, and arced over to my husband's computer. He and I were both using our computers, and simultaneously the display on our monitors shrunk to a white pinpoint on a black screen... (The alarm going off simultaneously with the loud thunder and the blue arc was frightening...) Turns out that all 3 of our networked computers were dead... (Yes, all computer equipment and phone line was on a UPS, but that doesn't prevent a direct strike!) After some worried debugging, we found that all of the computers would work if we removed their network cards (which had some fried chips and resistors on them), as apparently the strike traveled through our home network, and found a path to ground through our ungrounded (2-prong) switch. I'm happy that it hit the computer, and not my husband next to it...
In comparison, I know at least one other person who's computer got hit with a lightning strike through the phone line, and that computer didn't make it...

Like with people, it depends on where it hits. Some people may have a heart attack or not survive the internal burns, while others may just have a broken eardrum and survive to be hit by lightning yet another day. (There are people who have been hit more than once... Gosh, I must watch too much of The Weather Channel's "Storm Stories"...)
 

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True, It's all about where it hits, and how it hits.

When I was 14, I got caught out in one of Florida's "Party Coudy with a high in the 90's and a 50% chance of afternoon thunderstorms" thunderstorms.

I happened to be riding my bike past a light pole as it got struck... I caught enough of the splash effect to knock me off my bike, but was otherwise unharmed.

And no I don't play the lotto..
 

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melgish said:
True, It's all about where it hits, and how it hits.

When I was 14, I got caught out in one of Florida's "Party Coudy with a high in the 90's and a 50% chance of afternoon thunderstorms" thunderstorms.

I happened to be riding my bike past a light pole as it got struck... I caught enough of the splash effect to knock me off my bike, but was otherwise unharmed.

And no I don't play the lotto..
Actually this story expains much. :)
 

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Getting struck by lightning is no funny thing.

I read someplace that it causes the most damage at the body part(s) through which it exits. A lightning bolt can be 4 inches thick, and can have as much as a billion volts.

People who have been struck have had all nature of health problems afterward, from burns to joint problems, and of course, I understand that somebody who's been struck once may be more likely to get struck again in the future. :shock:
 

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Hep said:
Actually this story expains much. :)
Let's see. With 40 creeping up on me like a runaway train that was about 26 years ago... If I had $12.17 for every time I've heard a similar comment... I'd have... $9273.54. :wink:

What really sucks about the whole thing is I didn't get *any* super powers. All those damn comic books I read at that age lied to me.
 

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melgish said:
Hep said:
Actually this story expains much. :)
Let's see. With 40 creeping up on me like a runaway train that was about 26 years ago... If I had $12.17 for every time I've heard a similar comment... I'd have... $9273.54. :wink:

What really sucks about the whole thing is I didn't get *any* super powers. All those damn comic books I read at that age lied to me.
Don't be juvenile. Everyone know super powers come from spider bites!
 

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All right. I've mulled it over for a while. $12.17? From where did that number come?
The check is in the mail by the way. :)
I deserve it for going for the obvious joke.
 

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nowhere in particular... I just didn't think a nickel would cut it.
 

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back to the future

One time when I hit 88 mph, lightning surrounded me. I was scared and all the electrical systems dimmed. I found myself to be in a new place in time. Luckily my flex capacider withstood the shock and I was able to return to 2005. Everthing has turned out fine. I am careful not to go that fast again. I could be transported "back to the future."
 
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