Storm Season Safety: Driving After a Storm


This series of storms brought historic rainfall to many counties across California. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) continues to coordinate with state partners like CHP and Cal Trans to keep all Californians stay safe on the road during and after serious storms.  

The state deployed thousands of personnel to assist with traffic accidents, road closures, divert traffic, snowplows and more to keep drivers safe.  

It’s just as important to be cautious while driving after a storm as it is to be cautious driving during a storm. Follow these tips to stay safe on the roads this storm season.  

Take necessary precautions.  

After a storm, roads will be wet. Reduce speed and allow extra space between vehicles. Turn on your headlights to ensure other drivers can see you. If you do not have to drive, it may be best to wait until conditions improve.  

Check for road closures.  

It’s important to check official sources when planning your driving route, such as QuickMap. Try to stay on main roads and highways, and choose a route with flat roads, if you can. Shortcuts may be dangerous after a storm.  

Avoid flood water.  

After a storm, there is an increased risk of flooding and over half of flood-related deaths occur when a vehicle is driven into dangerous flood water. You should never drive through flood waters—just 12 inches of rushing water can carry away most cars. 

Flooding can happen nearly anywhere, in both rural and urban areas. If you see standing water, it’s best to avoid it.  

Watch for hazards. 

There may be fallen trees, debris or other hazards blocking the road. Stay alert and turn around to avoid them. Again, if you encounter floodwater, turn around.  

Give emergency crews room to work.  

If emergency crews are present, it’s important to stay at least four car lengths away from their equipment.  


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