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Protecting Yourself from Lightning on a Golf Course


Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jun 14, 2016 in Personal Injury

golf course lightningAs summer weather also brings in thunderstorms, it is imperative that those enjoying the great outdoors know what to do when a thunderstorm suddenly strikes. On average, lightning kills more people each year than tornadoes and hurricanes.

Furthermore, about five percent of lightning fatalities occur on a golf course. Since 1959, more than a dozen people in Connecticut have lost their lives due to lightning.

Below are some tips for protecting yourself, and others, from lightning while out on a golf course.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you hear thunder or see lightning in the distance, know where the safest spot is.
  • Listen for any warnings of lightning or thunder through course speakers, some golf courses will have siren warnings or horns.
  • Stay away from water, high ground and large trees.
  • Your golf cart is not a safe spot because of how open it is, but your car could provide shelter.
  • If you feel a tingling sensation on your hair or skin, crouch down low to the ground, it will keep you safer if you are struck.
  • Avoid contact with electrical devices or metal.

If you are in an open area and cannot seek shelter, go to a low area, such as a ravine. If the area you are in is heavily covered by trees, seek shelter in a low area under small trees.

After seeing lightning, count how many seconds it takes to hear thunder and divide the number of seconds by five. If you counted to 15, this means the lightning struck three miles away. Most lightning strikes occur during the summer months between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. so be sure to plan your day accordingly.

Although your chances of being struck by lightning are one in 600,000, taking extra precautions can further reduce these odds.