Super Bowl Commercial Highlights Lightning’s Danger and Lasting Impact on Survivors

CUMBERLAND, Maine -- A commercial expected to air during Sunday's Super Bowl has caught the attention of the National Lightning Safety Council (NLSC). The ad will feature a lightning strike survivor's apparent phobia of electricity which developed after being injured while riding a motorcycle. While the humorous commercial was created for other purposes, it also provides an opportunity for the NLSC to dispel a common lightning myth and to highlight the potential long-term health effects for lightning strike survivors.

According to news reports, Seth Thomas (the victim depicted in the Super Bowl ad) and his father were injured by lightning while on a motorcycle trip in 2012.

"Many people still believe the myth that rubber tires protect you from lightning, but they do not," said John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist with the NLSC. "It's very dangerous to be riding a motorcycle or to be involved in any other outdoor activity during a thunderstorm."

Data collected by the NLSC, cites 12 people in the U.S. as being struck and killed by lightning while motorcycling from 2006 to 2021.

According to Mary Ann Cooper, MD, international lightning safety expert and medical specialist with the NLSC, long term health effects are common with lightning-strike survivors.

"Many survivors suffer brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain syndromes from the nerve injuries that lightning commonly causes," said Dr. Cooper. "The fear of electricity that this Super Bowl advertisement humorously portrays is not uncommon with lightning and electrical injury survivors," she explained.

The NLSC hopes the Super Bowl prime airing of the commercial will prompt conversations and spark awareness about the dangers of lightning to prevent more deaths and injuries.

"Not all lightning survivors will find this commercial funny, but sometimes humor gets the word out to certain audiences better than serious warnings," added Dr. Cooper.

The NLSC urges lightning strike survivors and families coping with the often misunderstood medical effects of these injuries to contact the Lightning Strike & Electric Shock Survivors International, a non-profit support group founded in 1989.

The National Lightning Safety Council invites educators, government officials and others to help build lightning safe communities by learning more about lightning safety, lightning protection and risk reduction.

Visit the http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.org/ for shareable information, resources and safety tips.

Inquiries about specific lightning concerns can also be addressed to Council members via contacts here: http://www.lightningsafetycouncil.com/LSC-About.html.

RELATED LINKS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzcdP90akWM

http://lightningsafetycouncil.org/Activities/Motorcycles.pdf

https://www.lightning-strike.org/

Related link: http://lightningsafetycouncil.org/

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