The reason you're protected in a car during a lightning storm is actually because the car acts like a faraday cage.
A complete metal shield is necessary for full protection - so if you're stranded during a lightning storm, take cover inside a car with the windows wound up. Fibreglass bodied cars are not safe as the outside body needs to be conductive to form a Faraday cage and fibreglass is an insulator. Recently the The Top Gear team created an experiment to find out what it would be like if you were struck by lightning while in your car.


Contrary to popular belief, the reason for this isn't because cars have rubber tyres which insulate you from the ground. Anything inside the conducting object (the cage) will be protected from the external electrical current.
The same holds true for lightning when it strikes metal vehicles - the outer surface carries most of the electricity. Faraday cages are named after the English scientist Michael Faraday, who invented them in 1836.





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