U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


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Bridges & Structures

Road Tunnel Safety

Tunnel Insider Tips

When Entering...

  • Stay alert!
  • Turn on your headlights.
  • Obey all traffic signs, signals and pavement markings.
  • If you notice smoke near the tunnel entrance, do not enter.
  • Stop only in the event of emergencies.
  • Listen to the radio for important traffic updates.
  • Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, even if traffic is moving slowly.
  • If your car is smoking or burning, never enter a tunnel.

In Congested Traffic...

  • Listen to the radio for important traffic updates.
  • Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, even if traffic is moving slowly.
  • Note the location of fire extinguishers and emergency phones and exits so that you can easily find them if needed.
  • Follow the instructions of tunnel officials and/or electronic message signs.

If There's a Fire...

  • Stop, turn off the engine, and exit your vehicle immediately.
  • Leave your keys and all belongings.
  • Call 911 from your cell phone or use an emergency phone, if easily accessible, to call for assistance.
  • If possible, put out the fire using a fire extinguisher. If not possible, locate the nearest emergency exit and leave the tunnel immediately.
  • When exiting, assist others who may need help to exit the tunnel safely.

Fire And Smoke Can Kill. Save Your Life - Not Your Car!

Tunnel with sign that says do not enter when lights are flashing

You can be a tunnel safety "insider".

Traffic inside a tunnel

The FHWA is committed to helping our partners make road tunnels safer.

Traffic outside a tunnel

For more information, contact:
FHWA Office of Bridge Technology

Call 911 from your cell phone to report emergencies

FHWA-HIF-07-005

Updated: 08/21/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000