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What to remember if you’re driving during the eclipse

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Great American Total Solar Eclipse is just a week away, and people are expected to drive in large numbers to the path of totality to witness “nature’s greatest sight.”

Many cities in 13 states across the country will observe the totality of the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. As drivers prepare to make their trek to watch, the American Automobile Association (AAA) wants to ensure drivers remain safe on the roads.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, partially or completely blocking the sun from view. On April 8, in some key areas, the sky will be dark as if it were dawn or dusk, according to NASA.

“AAA anticipates that cities along the path of totality will experience high tourist volumes and increased traffic leading up to April 8. Excitement across the state is building over the viewing, which could lead to distractions for motorists,” the organization said.

Here are some tips from AAA on what to do if you’re driving during the total solar eclipse:

  • Do not attempt to watch the solar eclipse while driving. Find a safe place to park and then watch the eclipse. Peak darkness will last just a few minutes.
  • Use public transportation to avoid the potential of clogged roads, breakdowns, and crashes.
  • Do not drive with eclipse glasses on.
  • Drive safely. Eagerness to view the eclipse is not an acceptable reason to drive aggressively or while distracted.
  • Do not attempt to take pictures of the eclipse while driving.
  • Drive with your headlights on. Not only will drivers be much more visible to other drivers, but forward vision will be improved.
  • Watch out for pedestrians. There may be many people standing in or along the roadway to get a glimpse of the eclipse.
  • Watch out for animals as well. When a solar eclipse reaches totality, nocturnal wildlife can awaken, and non-nocturnal animals might think it’s time to sleep.
  • Be alert to the possibility of increased traffic and distracted drivers swerving into lanes.

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