Roadmap to SAFETY

Ah, summer! A good road trip with the windows down and the radio going can lift our spirits. It can also lead to accidents if we get distracted and don’t follow simple safety rules.

WATCH FOR THOSE WORKING BESIDE THE ROAD. Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative line crews frequently work alongside busy roadways, often only feet from passing cars. The same applies to emergency responders like police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

If you’re traveling and see one of our crews or others on the side of the road, we kindly ask that you move over if possible and give them a little extra space to work. We deeply care about the safety of all, and this extra precaution ensures just that. It shows common courtesy, and it is required by Tennessee state law.

Let’s work together to keep everyone safe on our local roadways. More information about the law is available at

WATCH FOR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING POWER POLES AND LINES. When involved in an auto accident, our first reaction is to get out of the vehicle. But, that first step could be deadly. Since you can’t tell by looking at a power line whether or not it is energized, it is best to lean toward caution by staying side the vehicle, calling 9-1-1 and waiting for help. The same goes for bystanders. Keep everyone away from the car.

If you must get out of the car because of a fire or other danger, tuck your arms and jump clear of the vehicle so that no part of your body touches the car and road at the same time. Then, hop or shuffle away keeping your feet together decreases the risk of electrical shock. Keep moving in this way until you are at least 40 feet away from the vehicle.

TURN AROUND; DON'T DROWN. Tennessee has known its share of flooding in recent years, and MLEC reminds you that it is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars and just 2 feet of rushing water to carry away SUVs and trucks.

Whatever the danger, think before you act. Let’s ride the roadmap to summer safety to some fun tunes, not the blues!

Check Safety for additional safety tips.

We can handle the dangers at the top of the pole, but we have no control over drivers passing by as at the bottom of the pole. Every guy on my crew can share a story of a close call with a passing car. You can help my team get home safe. Slow down, and pay attention.

- Chris 'Chopper' Carroll, DII Lineworker