The roadway was wet and slick as the man in his 20s drove south along Middlefield Road into Palo Alto at about 12:50 a.m., police said.
His vehicle first struck a sign on the west side of the street, then slammed into a tree and ricocheted off a parked vehicle before coming to rest in the front yard of a home near the intersection of Middlefield Road and Hawthorne Avenue, according to police.
Arriving police officers found the driver, who was the vehicle's sole occupant, with what they say were very serious injuries. Palo Alto fire paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene.
The driver's identity had not yet been released and is pending notification of his family, according to the medical examiner's office.
Members of the Palo Alto Police Department's Specialized Traffic Accident Reconstruction team and the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office are investigating the crash.
Alcohol has not yet been ruled out as a factor in the crash, and police said the medical examiner's office will determine if the driver was under the influence.
A representative from the medical examiner's office said that those tests will commence on Monday, but it could be several weeks before they can draw a conclusion.