Looking directly at the sun when you’re on the road, or anytime, is never a good idea. But that’s especially true when everyone around you is tempted to do the same thing.
With the eclipse of the century coming to the United States on August 21, AAA has issued a list of tips to help you stay safe, whether you’re driving through the darkness or pulling over to gaze at the astronomical event in awe – wearing the proper eye protection, of course:
- Exit the roadway and park in a safe area away from traffic to view the eclipse
- Do NOT stop along the highway or interstate or park on the shoulder of the road
- Keep headlights on – don’t rely on automatic headlights
- Do NOT wear eclipse glasses while driving.
- Do NOT try to photograph or video the eclipse while driving.
- Be mindful of pedestrians that many will be walking around with their eyes on the sky.
- Prepare for extra congestion on the roads during the eclipse period, but also in the days before and after the eclipse as many travelers head to the totality zone.
- Have your viewing location set and stay in place, avoiding travel during the eclipse.
AAA also offers some handy advice for those heading out of town to get closer to the 70-mile wide path of totality, where the sun will be most obscured by the moon.
- Try to get to your viewing location one to two days ahead of the eclipse.
- With many hotels, motels and campgrounds in the path of 100 percent eclipse totality booked for -months, consider other nearby locations, a short drive to where you’d like to view the eclipse from. A travel agent or online travel booking resource, such as those from AAA, can help you locate a hotel with vacancy.
- Pack your patience and plan for congestion on the roads, especially as you get closer to locations within the path of totality.
- Keep up to date on weather conditions – if you find your original location may be cloudy/rainy, consider moving to another location.
- Don’t forget approved, safe eye protection for viewing the eclipse. NASA provides details on how to view the solar eclipse safely.