Safety tips for being on the road during the total solar eclipse

Posted at 6:34 AM, Apr 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-07 09:50:57-04

We are just days away from what will be a historic total solar eclipse, and while there is a lot of excitement in the air, you should use caution while out on the roads.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the last solar eclipse in 2017, there was a 31% increase in deadly crashes.

A lot of people are going to be driving in places that usually don't get a lot of traffic, so whether your looking specifically for the eclipse or just doing your normal Monday driving, you'll need to plan ahead.

Watch our report from Luna Pier, where there will be full totality for the eclipse

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Stacy Ziarko and her family have it all planned out, from the snacks to the t-shirts.

Ziarko, the president and CEO of Connect Macomb, will be traveling to her grandmother's house in Lorain, Ohio, which is in the path of totality.

“We are planning to go down early Sunday morning and actually stay until Tuesday because where we are going is a pretty small town, a lake town, its a vacation town, where we are afraid of gridlock going home," she said.

It's this type of planning that everyone needs to take note of, whether you're planning on making a day of the eclipse or not.

“If you don’t have to you don’t want to necessarily drive at that time, you want to make sure you plan ahead," Adrienne Woodland, a spokesperson for AAA Michigan, said.

Woodland said roads will be incredibly busy that day.

“AAA has seen increases in bookings, for people trying to go to cities that have a good view of it, so you want to expect center places to be busy," she said.

If you aren't planning on viewing the eclipse, still remember to drive with your headlights on when it goes dark, and visor down for when the sun comes back into view, and keep pedestrian traffic in mind.

“You are going to have a lot of pedestrians out that are looking up at the sky. They are not watching the roadway, so if you are driving, you want to be aware of that and look out for pedestrians that may not be paying attention," Woodland said.

If you are viewing the eclipse, don't drive with your eclipse glasses on, and don't pull over to the side of the road. Exit the roadway and park in a safe spot, away from traffic.

If you are going to the path of totality, remember, it might be busy with a lot of people and traffic.

Finally, do not try and take pictures or video of the eclipse while driving.