Severe Weather Travel Tips

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 22nd 8:15 PM

Caltrans advises that the best defense is not to venture out on the roads during stormy weather.  If you must travel:

Follow @511SFBay on Twitter for real-time traveler updates and current conditions.


Check the 511 Interactive Map for current traffic conditions, road closures, high wind advisories, and detour information.


Visit the 511 Critical Alerts Page for detailed information on traffic impacts, transit disruptions, and transit service changes.


Heavy rainfall throughout the Bay Area may overwhelm waterways and roadway drainage systems, leading to flash flooding. In addition, high winds are expected. As you plan your travel during this storm, please consider the following:


Consider alternate routes – Your normal route may not be your best route. Check the Interactive Map for current traffic incidents, driving speeds, closures, and alternate route information. For detailed information on significant traffic impacts and roadway closures, consult the 511 Critical Alerts Page.

Avoid the outside lanes - Freeways often flood nearest to the roadway edges, especially on elevated roadways with walls on both sides.
Never drive through standing water - You never know how deep the water is, so avoid getting stuck and never drive through standing water.

Slow down - During severe weather, the best way to avoid a collision is to slow down. Slower speeds prevent hydroplaning, which often leads to crashes. Extra following distance will also help if someone crashes ahead.

Headlights on - Whenever your windshield wipers are on, your headlights should be as well. Vehicles are often not visible without head and taillights.

Minor collision? Move out of the roadway - If you experience a non-emergency minor collision, please move out of the roadway as soon as possible to prevent secondary collisions.  Once you are out of the roadway, call 511 and say Freeway Assist (or press 4) for a free tow off the freeway.  In an emergency, or if you are unable to move out of the roadway, please call 911.


Consider your transit options - In severe weather, transit service may be delayed, rerouted, or canceled due to hazardous road or track conditions.  For up-to-the-minute transit announcements and service advisories, consult the 511 Critical Alerts Page.

511 Trip Planner Advisory - Any changes to transit services during the storm, such as relocated stops or detoured routes, will not be reflected in the 511 Trip Planner results. Check the 511 Critical Alerts Page for transit service advisories. 

Transit Departures Times Availability - Please be aware that because transit service may be delayed or rerouted, real-time departures may be unavailable or inaccurate. 

Work Accommodations

Ask your employer if you can adjust your work hours or telecommute - To avoid commuting during severe weather, your workplace may allow you to adjust your hours or conduct business from home. Or, if your company has multiple offices or branches, ask your employer if you might be able to work from an office nearer to your home.