Transcript for Surprising way to safely escape a live wires crash
We are back now with a "Gma" alert. You might remember the video this week of a power pole crashing down on a car in Washington state. The couple inside was rescued from those live wires. So our team looked into what to do if live wires fall on or near your car, and the answer might surprise you. ABC's chief national correspondent Matt Gutman joins us from Los Angeles. Good morning, Matt. Reporter: Hey, good morning, Cecilia. With severe weather making -- or with climate change making severe weather and downed trees so much more common, our experts tell us you're going to see a lot more of these, downed power lines. Now, they're simulated, they are not live, but 110 volts can kill someone and these can typically carry 13,000 volts. In recording this story I learned it's not just the power lines themselves that are energized but all of the ground around them. 24 power lines toppling in Washington state just days ago, crushing this car and trapping a couple inside. Incredibly they escaped with only minor injuries. Sparks flying after a tree brought down this power line in New Jersey last year. It landed right on Lauren Feldman's car. I was terrified. My first instinct was to open my car door and to get out. Reporter: Doing that might have electrocuted her. Miraculously a gas company worker happened to be in the area and told her to stay put. This is that technician and Lauren says he saved her life. What might seem like nothing to him was really everything to my family. Reporter: To learn how to escape a possible live wire, we head to the pse & G training center in Edison, New Jersey where we set up all the ingredients for a worst case scenario. A crippled car, a downed power line obviously with the juice turned off, and for good measure, a simulated engine fire. There is smoke bill ohhing up in this car. First a breakdown of the danger from safety expert Joe Wallace. You touch this, you're dead? Yes. Reporter: It's not just the wire that's charged. It's also the ground around it, up to 30 feet in every direction, which is why experts say the number one rule when encountering a downed power line, stay in the car and call 911. Would there be any time in which you want to just get out of the car, say the vehicle was on fire, then yes. Reporter: If it comes to that, he says there's a right way and a very wrong way. My inclination would be to just get out of the car. You want to get away. Reporter: Touching the ground even with just one foot while still in contact with a potentially energized vehicle could cause electricity to flow from the car through my body, essentially turning me into a human jumper cable. Now, the correct way. I can touch here, right? Correct. Reporter: The bunny hop, standing up and jumping clear of the car with your feet together. Then the shuffle. Short steps, as small as Small as possible. Reporter: It may look silly but because energy flows in one foot and out the other, keeping them together eliminates or reduces the chances of a potentially deadly charge from entering my body. Once you lift, then you create the potential for a circuit and then you get shocked. Correct. Reporter: He says you want to do that for at least 30 feet to clear that shock zone. Might take a while but it might save your life too. Reporter: Now we put it to the test during a simulated engine fire. We pump the car full of synthetic smoke. If this were real the smoke would kill me if I stayed inside. I've waited here, called 911 but now I've got to get out of this car because it's really dangerous. So I open the door, stand up. I've got to take my hop with two feet, landing and then shuffle out. Reporter: Our experts say if you see a downed power pole or power line, always assume it's energized. It might not always look like it does in the movies with sparks flying everywhere. The next thing you want to do is alert everybody around you that there's a downed line and to get away and then you want to back up yourself. You do not want to try to drive over those lines, and you really don't want to get out of the car unless you absolutely have to and the engine is on fire or something like that. Guys. Really good advice, Matt, and I'm glad you're in that car because I was going to ask you to show us that shuffle all over again. Well done. He conceded it looked silly. Seatbelt on, yeah, not getting out. Thank you, Matt. That really was great advice. I had no idea. All right, thank you to Matt for that.
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