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Did you know? is a regular feature that provides information about Vector’s electricity business that we think you’ll find interesting.

Here we take a closer look at what happens when a vehicle collides with a power pole, transformer or another piece of network equipment. Such accidents are a very serious safety matter for the occupants of the vehicle, passers-by and emergency services. It can also mean people in the surrounding streets lose their power for a short time.

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Vehicles have caused damage to the network this year*

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Homes/ businesses* affected
by this damage

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1 in 6

Properties have been affected by third-party damage this year*

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Of this year's outages to date* were unplanned events

*Figures based on January – August 2019 Vector data.

What to do if your car hits a power pole

If a car has hit a pole and brought down the power lines, the safest way to avoid electric shock is for occupants to stay in the car until help arrives. Our website section ‘in an emergency’ has more information.

To eliminate risk of electric shock to vehicle occupants, emergency services, nearby residents and businesses (and even our response crews), Vector turns the power off as soon as possible after a vehicle collides. We don’t switch the power back on until we are sure it is safe to do so.

Replacing a power pole

Replacing a damaged pole can take our team up to eight hours to complete safely and involves:

  • multiple field crews working hard to get a new pole on site
  • checks that the site is safe; ensuring there is no danger to the public or crew
  • traffic management
  • installation of the new pole
  • transfer of both the high and low voltage lines from the damaged pole to the new pole

While we won’t compromise on safety, we know no one likes the power going out. That’s why we’re constantly looking at ways to minimise the disruption caused when vehicles collide with the network. We urge all drivers to use caution on the roads always, but especially during poor weather, as wind or rain can affect driving conditions.

examples of third-party damage

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