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Old 02-29-2012, 12:29 PM   #1
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Nerdy lightening question

Are you in more danger of struck by lightening in a soft top vs a hard top? I know electricity travels around the outside whatever shape is charged. I know, nerdy and irrelevant.

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Old 02-29-2012, 12:35 PM   #2
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*if struck

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Old 02-29-2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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It's irrelevant because of the odds of being struck by lightning in the first place. Now add the variable of being in a vehicle, the odds go up even more.

Your tires help insulate the vehicle (help, not make immune to) from lightning strikes because the first principle of electricity is voltage is lazy. It takes the easiest path to ground. A tall metal cell tower or tree makes a far more inviting target for a strike than your 6 ft tall, somewhat insulated Jeep.

Beyond that, I think the soft top/hard top is a nonfactor.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:06 AM   #4
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tires have nothing to do with it,,, the vehicle your in acts as a Faraday cage and disperses the energy of the strike.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREEN-MACHINE View Post
tires have nothing to do with it,,, the vehicle your in acts as a Faraday cage and disperses the energy of the strike.
Yep...I believe most vehicles when struck by lightning end up with the lightning blowing the tires out as the electricity arcs to ground. I believe the tires being an insulator is an old wives tail. Or maybe it's just people confusing lightning strikes with downed power lines? If you have a power line down on your vehicle you're fine until you step out and provide a path for the electricity to go to ground. That's why they tell you to stay in your vehicle until the line is removed or if you MUST exit the vehicle...jump out of it as far away from it as possible (without keeping your hands on the vehicle) keeping your feet together and shuffle away. Basically to ensure you don't give the electricity a path to ground...or give it an easy enough path that it'll arc to you.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:02 AM   #6
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:25 PM   #7
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I've wondered if a Jeep would really act as a Faraday cage given the lack of metal above the beltline - if lightning strikes my hard top, how is anything gonna happen other than it melting a hole in the fiberglass and frying whatever's inside? I'm just not confident that the roll bar is going to be enough.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:15 PM   #8
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Tires make a vehicle less conductive, relative to other things around. That doesn't mean that it makes a vehicle immune to a strike. It is just one of the factors that increases the odds of getting struck. That's not irrelevant.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREEN-MACHINE View Post
tires have nothing to do with it,,, the vehicle your in acts as a Faraday cage and disperses the energy of the strike.
+1 What he said

http://www.weatherimagery.com/blog/r...ect-lightning/

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