News Department

FirstEnergy emphasize electrical safety during National Teen Driver Safety Week

NEW JERSEY – One of the most exciting moments in a young person’s life is being handed the keys for the first time after getting their driver’s license.

For parents, it’s one of the most anxiety-filled moments of theirs, and rightly so: according to the U.S. National Safety Council, 16- to 19-year-olds make up only 3.6% of licensed drivers but account for 9.3% of all vehicle accidents.

Parents and guardians can be the biggest influence on their teen’s choices behind the wheel. National Teen Driver Safety Week, marked this year Oct. 15-21, serves as a good reminder for parents to have important conversations with their young drivers about the rules of the road, how to avoid accidents and importantly, what to do if they’re involved in one – especially if it involves electrical equipment.

An often-overlooked topic in driver’s education is what to do if you are in an accident involving electrical equipment. In a video recently produced by FirstEnergy, safety spokesperson Max Safety details how to identify specific risks at an accident scene involving utility poles, power lines or transformers in contact with the vehicle.

“It’s critical that we get this life-saving information out to drivers – especially younger drivers who are still learning,” said Candy Webb, FirstEnergy’s manager, Public Safety. “Car accidents involving utility equipment are especially dangerous because of the potential for downed wires to be energized.”

The video demonstrates the following steps to help viewers learn how to stay safe in this situation:

  • Stop and look around to identify safety hazards, including downed or damaged lines, poles or electrical equipment.
  • Stay in the car (unless the vehicle is smoking or on fire).
  • Signal to others to stay at least 30 feet from the vehicle, keeping pets away, as well.
  • Call 911 immediately.
  • In the case of smoke or fire, exit by jumping out and clear of the vehicle with your feet together, making sure no part of your body touches the vehicle and the ground at the same time.
  • Shuffle your feet, keeping them as close together as possible, while moving at least 30 feet from the vehicle to help prevent electrical injury.

“The vehicle accident safety video is an important tool that can be used to educate young drivers and other members of the community about the dangers of electricity and provide the knowledge they need to reduce their exposure to injury. We encourage anyone who gets behind the wheel to watch and share this information,” Webb said.

More tips on staying safe around electricity and near power lines and equipment are available on FirstEnergy’s Stop. Look. Live. website at

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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