The Risk of Parking your Vehicle Underneath a Tree During the Rainy Season.

Parking due to cumulating no. of vehicles is a huge dilemma, especially in big cities. In a country like India parking is mostly unorganized and it is usually seen that the vehicles are heedlessly parked just in the front of ‘no parking’ boards. This problem becomes huge especially in rains accompanied by thunder and lightening. People have the wrong notion, that parking the car under the tree would protect the surface from rain but it can, in fact, cost you your life.
Let’s look at the bottlenecks of parking your vehicle under the tree during rainy season:

  1. Lightning is a result of positive and negative electric charges that build up in the cloud. When these charges get attracted by the charges on the ground it appears to us like lightning. Lighting is attracted to the tallest tip of a conductor. Trees are often the tallest objects within an environment. Therefore trees make greater targets for lightning.
  2. Now the first case is if you are supposed standing under the tree during lightning then due to the presence of greater no. of ions in the human body as compared to trees humans are better conductors than trees. If in case the tip of the tree is struck by lightning then the current from the lightning may travel down the tree and jump onto the human and you are obviously toasted.
  3. Now if you consider the second case of you standing outside the car, under the tree during lightning. Apparently, you are less conductive than the metal body but the lightning strike can carry a high current, up to 200 kiloamps has been recorded and the rate of change in this current is high as well. That means the induced magnetic field around the car can be quite high. This can induce high voltages in the vicinity of the strike. In fact, many people who are reported to have been “hit” by lightning, have not taken a direct hit, but suffer from induced currents.
  4. Car parked under the tree during lightning act like a faraday cage and if you are sitting inside then due to greater conductivity the metal in the car is supposed to shield you from any external electric fields and thus prevent the lightning from traveling within the car. This is an ideal condition but practically a part of this current flow through your body as well which is sufficient for your death. Oh yeah, you might not be charred and smoking, but dead nonetheless.
  5. If the tree has root issues, storms with lots of rain and high winds may uproot the tree. This root issue arises due to the fungus which typically occurs when there is too much moisture, due to construction in the vicinity of roots, etc. so, not only lightning but a just heavy rain can lead to the uprooting of trees which can damage your parked vehicles completely.
    So it is not advisable to park your vehicle under the tree during rainy seasons.

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