Tuesday, June 10, 2014 6:38:57 PM
There's a nicely dramatic demonstration of the general principle in this video, which shows just how complete the protection is. While it`s not a lightning strike, there`s enough power to kill a person. He`s wearing chain mail, so all he has between his skin and the electricity is steel (which conducts electricity very well) with thousands of gaps in it. And he`s fine because electricity always follows the path of least resistance, so it goes around the *outside* of the chainmail.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 6:29:02 PM
did the rubber of the tires save them from further catastrophe, or did the tires not make any difference?
No difference. You'd need a section of rubber hundreds of feet thick to insulate a lightning strike. The amount of energy in a lightning strike is ludicrous. A few mm of rubber on a tire is irrelevant.
What protects people is a fundamental property of electricity - it always follows the path of least resistance. If a car is in the way, the path of least electrical resistance will be around the outside of the car and across the few inches under it.
Although I think there would be a risk from the thunder. It`s a shock wave and there`s a lot of force in it. I`m curious now - does anyone know if there`s any significant risk?