Help i got an electric shock? will i be ok?

so today i did something stupid:smack:. i was replacing a wire for the horn on my car. but forgot to disconnect the battery. and i accidentally touched the wire with a screwdriver and got shocked. i felt the electricity go up my arms. my spine is sort of sore but i feel fine. will i be ok?

You got shocked on a 12 V system? :dubious:

Do you have any open cuts or wounds?

If you are OK now you will be OK.

i guess it was a 12 v system . it was a wire in the steering wheel with a peace of metel at the end to make the horn honk. when the screwdriver touched it i got shocked. i have no open cuts or wounds

I’m kinda wondering how you managed to shock yourself. 12 volts isn’t usually high enough to overcome the electrical resistance of your skin. Usually you need to get above 50 volts or so before you’ll get a decent shock. Screwdriver handles are also electrically insulated. This makes me think that what you really got was just a static electricity discharge and not a shock from the car’s electrical system. You can build up a static charge very easily inside a car by moving across the seat. Touch something metal in the car, and you can get a static shock that way.

Even if you did somehow get a shock from the car’s electrical system, you wouldn’t have anything to worry about by now. Electricity hurts you generally in one of two ways. Either it screws up your heartbeat or it burns you. It doesn’t take much of an electric shock to screw up your heart, but it’s very hit and miss. Your heart is significantly more sensitive to getting out of rhythm at certain times during its cycle than others, but if you hit it just right and at just the right time, the heart will go into fibrillation. Your heart has kind of a funny design in that the fibrillation state is stable, so if you can get it into that state it will stay there. Instead of pumping blood, the heart just kinda shakes, and you very quickly pass out and then your body dies from the lack of blood flow.

Getting burned to death by electricity is a lot less hit and miss, but it also requires a lot more current. This is how the electric chair kills people.

You clearly didn’t have either one of these effects.

I think you just got a plain old ordinary static shock, the same kind you get when you walk across carpet in the winter (when the humidity is low) and touch something metal. Nothing to worry about.

the screwdriver had a metal handle i’m 99.9% sure it was not a static shock
it was a pretty bad jolt and lasted for like 3 seconds. its already been 5 hours and i feel fine

Many people have said that just before they die. :eek:

With the exception of a small jeweler’s screwdriver, I’ve never seen a screwdriver with a metal handle.

You’re fine, but I would watch the situation closely to see if you develop any superpowers.

Delayed arrhythmia is the worry in cases of electric shock. If you do not have a problem within two months, you should be fine. :smiley:

Depends on if he was ok before.

I have one. It’s not very good quality. It’s part of a matryoshka doll type tool set. A Small hammer with a handle that unscrews to reveal a flat blade screwdriver, within that is a Phillip’s head, then a smaller flat blade screwdriver and finally a tiny phillip’s head. It looks like this, only it’s all gold colored.

Years ago I got a mild jolt from an electric fence. I was sure I was doomed to die, because, you know, electrocution=death. I didn’t say anything to my parents because there was nothing they could do about it, and I didn’t want to scare them. But I was only 6 or 7 at the time.

After a brush with the 12 volts of doom he became… STATIC MAN!




Wherever there is danger (in areas with nylon carpeting) - he’ll be there.

If trouble occurs which can easily be averted by sticking a balloon to a wall - you know who to call!

Were you peeing on that fence? :stuck_out_tongue: That’ll make a kid wonder if he’ll live.

Medical advice is best suited to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

No, actually I was going over it. Funny thing was I had already gone back and forth over it several times without incident, grabbing the top wire and pulling it down so I could step over. Somehow, if you grabbed the fence wire firmly it didn’t zap you, but when I just barely touched it I did get a jolt. I have no idea why that was true.

whenever you are messing with wires in the steering column then disconnect the battery. you could accidentally trigger the airbag which is hazardous and expensive.

I can’t explain how you got shocked then. 12 volts is a “safe” voltage. The voltage is too low to overcome skin resistance. You can grab the positive terminal of the car’s battery with one hand and the negative with the other and you won’t get shocked. You should be able to poke around on any wire with a screwdriver and not get shocked, with the exception of the spark plug wires (when the car is running - they are pretty high voltage and will give you a nasty jolt) and the 120 volt AC wires if your car is equipped with an inverter (mostly only on minivans and SUVs). You can short out things in the electrical system and make all kinds of sparks and smoke, but unless you have an open wound to bypass your skin, you generally can’t shock yourself on 12 volts.

Maybe if you told him how often and for how long he’d have to regularly recharge. I’m sure he doesn’t want to run out of juice unexpectedly.

Don’t some cars have 24 volt systems?