How to drive safely during a power outage

When the power goes out or is shut off, drivers should exercise caution on the roadways as power outages will likely impact stoplights and other traffic signals. If you can stay off the road during an outage, do so.

If you need to travel or if the power goes out while you're on the road, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • If traffic lights are out and there are no law enforcement officers directing traffic, treat intersections as a four-way stop. The Los Angeles Police Department advises: "Always yield to the right, and keep in mind that during a blackout, normal traffic patterns will be disrupted. Drive defensively and remain extremely alert, especially if you are a pedestrian."


  • When possible, consider taking alternate routes that are not heavily traveled to avoid congestion.


  • Remain focused on the roadway. As always, do not text and drive, and be sure to use a hands-free device if you must make a phone call.


  • Be sure your car is stocked with supplies like water, a flashlight and other tools that could come in handy in the event of an emergency. Consider packing a small stash of emergency cash in the event you are unable to make a purchase with a credit card during an outage.


  • If you know that an outage or shutoff could happen, fill up your gas tank ahead of time as pumps will not work during an outage.


SEE ALSO: Tips for getting through a long-term power outage
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