Tips For Driving In a Tornado

A tornado is something one hopes to never have to encounter. If you see a tornado while driving, remember to follow these tips and act on what seems best in your situation.


  • Go to the nearest solid shelter if you see a tornado in the distance. The more walls between you and a tornado, the better.
  • Drive at a 90 degree angle away from the tornado’s path.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If the tornado is close and there is no shelter nearby, look around to see if you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway. Next, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
  • If the tornado is close and there is no shelter or low-lying areas nearby, stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands, and a blanket if possible.


  • Try out-running a tornado that is close by. Tornados can travel at high speeds, and don’t necessarily follow the road.
  • Use unpaved roads. The strong rains that often accompany tornados can quickly make dirt or gravel roads impassable.
  • Take shelter under an overpass or a bridge as winds can accelerate and cause injury or death from flying debris.
  • Take shelter in a culvert. You can easily become trapped and risk drowning if it becomes clogged with water or debris.
  • Take shelter under your vehicle. Vehicles can easily be rolled over, or even carried long distances in a tornado.

Outdoors enthusiast, can often be found on back roads heading into back country. Travel by bicycle, truck or transit, and passionate about supporting AMA's work to help people travel safely and confidently, no matter their mode of choice.