Next week, the U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse for the first time since 1979. And while it won’t shroud Arizona in complete darkness, there are traffic implications, as drivers will see and feel the difference while on the road.
As drivers experience obstruction of sunlight when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, AAA would like to offer the following dos and don’ts:
AAA’s eclipse driving dos:
- DO find a safe place to park, and then observe the eclipse. Keep in mind that the peak darkness phase will last just 2-3 minutes.
- DO wear special eyewear and beware of bogus glasses that claim to provide special-purpose solar filters. The Eye Institute at Midwestern University is giving away 2,000 eclipse-viewing glasses at 5865 West Utopia Road in Glendale. The American Astronomical Society has put together a list of reputable brands and vendors.
- DO drive with your headlights on. Not only will you will be much more visible to other drivers, your forward vision will be improved.
- DO watch out for pedestrians. There may be many people standing in or along the roadway watching the eclipse.
- DO be alert to the possibility of distracted drivers. Drive defensively by keeping additional space around your vehicle and reducing your speed to have more time to make an emergency maneuver if needed.
AAA’s eclipse driving don’ts:
- DON'T attempt to watch the solar eclipse while driving.
- DON'T wear “eclipse glasses” while driving, as the ultra-dark lenses will make it so that you cannot see the road in front of you.
- DON'T try to photograph or video the eclipse while driving, and don’t pull over to the side of the road, highway or interstate to view the eclipse.