More Tornado Driving Safety Tips

angry tornadoes graphic

As a follow-up to the previous post, there are additional driving safety tips for when you see a tornado forming.  The following video shows a series of tornadoes near Dimmitt, Texas from a few years back:

Here are the additional tornado driving safety tips from

“Highway overpasses are NOT tornado shelters, and these should be avoided,” NOAA road safety guidelines state. “Ditches, culverts and ravines should be used only as an absolute last resort. You will be exposed to flying debris, rain and hail, lightning and extreme wind.” 

If the Tornado Is Far Enough Away

If you can see the tornado in the distance, NOAA recommends changing course and driving toward a sturdy shelter as soon as you are able. They recommend truck stops, convenience stores, restaurants, and even walk-in coolers. Once you are inside, go to the basement, a cellar, or a hallway or room without windows in the center of the house.

However, they warn you not to take shelter in a high-risk structure like a mobile home. Your car is safer than a mobile home, the Red Cross states in their safety brochure. 

It is possible to try to get out of the tornado’s path, NOAA says, and you may be able to stop and allow the tornado to pass, depending on where it is and how you’re positioned. If you can see the tornado far in the distance and can determine its movement, drive at a right angle to that movement. So, if it’s heading east, drive to the south. 

If the Tornado Threat Is Immediate

If you’re stuck in heavy traffic and there’s nowhere for you to to go, it’s time to duck and cover in a ditch or low spot. In that case, NOAA recommends getting as far away from your car as possible.

If the tornado is imminent and you are forced to stay in your car, the NWS recommends keeping your seat belt on and making sure your head is covered, below your windshield and windows to protect it from glass. The Red Cross recommends covering your head with a blanket, if you have one in the car.

Additional tips are found in that article, so please click the link to read more.


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