Q: What happens if my car is struck by lightning? Will it explode or catch fire? Or worse, will the occupants be hurt?
A: Singapore has among the highest number of lightning strikes per annum. But no car has been known to have been damaged by lightning.
Lightning always strikes the highest point in a vicinity. For lightning to hit a vehicle, it must be at an elevation and in an open area with few buildings or trees around. Such a spot is rare in Singapore.
If a car is struck by lightning, its metal body acts as a safety cage which prevents the occupants from electrocution. Almost always, the passengers get away with nothing much more than ringing ears because of the accompanying loud clap of thunder.
The vehicle's fuel system is similarly insulated. Its electrical and electronic components may, however, be damaged.
Cars can also be damaged by floodwater and falling tree branches (or an entire tree) during a thunderstorm. It is therefore advisable not to park in a low-lying area or under huge trees during a storm.