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[Share] Lightning Strikes and Kills Motorcyclist. Why Rubber Tires Didn't Protect Him.

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Post time: 12-6-2019 12:19:50 Posted From Mobile Phone
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▼ Tragedy struck when a motorcyclist driving in Florida during a thunderstorm was struck by lightning, causing him to crash and die on Sunday (June 9), according to news sources.
The man's death, the second U.S. fatality  from lightningthis year, may make some people wonder why the motorcycle's rubber tires didn't protect the 45-year-old from the lightning bolt. But this belief is an urban legend, said John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist with the National Lightning Safety Council.
"It's a myth that rubber tires protect a vehicle from being struck by lightning," Jensenius told Live Science in an email.
Vehicles are struck by lightning fairly regularly. But if you find yourself stuck on the road during a lightning storm, it's best to be in a hard-topped metal vehicle, Jensenius said. That's because the metal exterior acts like a Faraday cage. The cage — named for the 19th-century scientist British Michael Faraday, who studied electromagnetismand electrochemistry — keeps any electrical charge that hits it in its outer metal shell, away from the interior (in this case, any passengers within a vehicle). (▪ ▪ ▪)

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Post time: 12-6-2019 22:35:21
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They do demonstrations in Munich in the technical museum where they have a Faraday cage high enough to have a person inside. They hit it with massive lightning strikes but funny enough he always comes out unharmed. A car should be fine but not a bike.

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Post time: 13-6-2019 00:55:51
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While some would say the bike is not grounded because of the rubber tires, I would ask:
isn't the entire bike body grounded to the negative side of the battery? Doesn't that constitute the pathway of potential energy movement/discharge?

I'm not a scientist (regardless of Comp Sci degree), but I could play one on the Internet
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Post time: 13-6-2019 17:15:29
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Edited by ssangra at 13-6-2019 05:44 PM

As long as rider would remain on top of the vehicle he would be protected but lightning will leave a heavy charge which will earth the moment his foot touches the ground specially with leather boots with leather soles. It will also try to earth if he touches something. In airplanes safety is ensured for such phenomena by trailing a chain to the ground from landing gear which touches ground and earths the plane as soon as it lands otherwise accumulated charge on body of aircraft would fry anyone dismounting Cars also have such a metal chain touching ground. Its safer that way. Faradays cage seems good and logical but cant image say Mr. Rhett inside one on his bike. It would b too heavy and unweildly. I came across one picture where an electric current bypasses the temple tops because of the parallel spike like structures on it. Maybe a helment with that kind of spikes will help ...just wondering. This is why ancient egyptians made steeles and indians had non rustable iron pillars which literally rose above the countryside's homes. They would attract lightning and prevent it from falling over the habitations. I suspect that ancient structures below these also collated and stored this energy power as a lot of insulating mica was found under pyramids in eqypt , south america and under and around iron pillar construction sites e.g. in Delhi.
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Post time: 15-6-2019 18:27:36
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I find this interesting. While not protected from lightening, would the bike be protected from a fallen electrical wire

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