Can a 12-volt car battery shock kill ?
The shock from the car battery will not kill you. In fact, under normal circumstances, a 12-volt car battery usually doesn’t even shock you. Car batteries are not harmless, though. There are many ways to get injured by car battery:
- Car battery acid can leak out of the battery and burn your skin.
- If a flame or spark is brought too close to a car battery with improper ventilation, hydrogen gas from the battery can explode, splashing battery fragments and acid all over your skin.
- Sparks (arcing) between a car battery terminal and other metal parts can cause the metal to get hot enough to burn you.
- If a car battery is short-circuited by a cable, the cable can heat up enough to catch fire.
There is enough danger at the moment, it is a good idea to be cautious around the car battery and follow the maintenance instructions in the car’s manual, even if the car battery electric shock does not occur.
In addition, this question implies that contains a common misconception about the high voltage is independently dangerous. The ability of electricity to destroy biological tissue is dependent on current and voltage. A very high voltage source provides a very low current without carrying enough energy to harm you. For example, a desktop Van de Graaff generator (those charged metal balls you see in the science museum) can produce up to 100,000 volts. However, kids often enjoy the shocks and creepy experiences of these generators without getting hurt. By contrast, high current (even at relatively low voltage) contains enough energy to harm you. Therefore, a better indicator of the dangers of the power source is the amount of current it runs through your body, which depends in part on the voltage, but also on the resistance and the amount of current the power supply can provide.
Voltage is a measure of the potential difference between two points, similar to the amount of decline in the river from point A to point B. There are points that are similar to how much water is flowing in the river every second along the river. A few drops of water flow down a steep steep hillside carrying energy far below a gentle slope of a powerful river stream. In reality, both voltage and current play a role. A powerful river carries more energy as it glides over a cliff than a Mighty River slides over a gently sloping slope.
Now let’s apply these concepts to car batteries, which is a bit more complicated than the first one. Car battery can provide high current. The key to this curiosity is that it is the current that runs through your body, not the maximum current that the battery can provide. They are different. How much current actually ends up running through an object depends on three things: 1) the resistance of the object, 2) the voltage applied, and 3) the amount of current the source can provide. For people who touch the car battery, the skin has a very high resistance, resulting in low current; and the battery has a low voltage, resulting in low current. Even if the car battery can provide high current, if the connection is correct, your body will not draw this high current. Voltage does play a role, as it helps to limit the total current in your body (as well as your body’s resistance).
The manual car Power, Electronics, Computer notes that ” the battery or charging system voltage usually does not produce enough current to flow, resulting in a serious electric shock.”