What to do if you’ll be on the road during Monday’s eclipse

The Ohio State Highway Patrol says to not wear the special eclipse glasses behind the wheel

Monday's solar eclipse is being called the "Great American Eclipse." It's the first time a total solar eclipse will be visible across the U.S. in almost 40 years.
Photo courtesy of NASA

Check out our 2017 Solar Eclipse section under the News tab on WKBN’s homepage. You will find information about the eclipse, watch parties, special glasses and more.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Monday’s solar eclipse is being called the “Great American Eclipse.” It’s the first time a total solar eclipse will be visible in the U.S. in almost 40 years.

The eclipse will start around 1 p.m. and last until about 4 p.m. The maximum eclipse will happen around 2:30 p.m.

The best view of the eclipse will be on a path from Oregon to South Carolina, where witnesses will be able to see the total eclipse. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, we’re only expected to see a partial eclipse.

If you plan on driving between those hours, the U.S. Department of Transportation says to not take pictures behind the wheel. The department says to take the nearest exit if you want to take pictures, but do not stop along the interstate or park on the shoulder during the event. Also, don’t drive or park on dry grass because it’s a fire danger.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol says to not wear the special eclipse glasses behind the wheel.

“Do not attempt to drive with them. You cannot see out of them. They are designed specifically so you can safely look at the eclipse. So again, do not try to drive with them, that will create another hazard in and of itself,” said OSHP Sgt. Jason Bonar.

Sgt. Bonar says the conditions during the eclipse will be similar to dusk. So, if your car isn’t one of the more modern models with automatic headlights, make sure to turn yours on.

He says the rules of the road do not change just because of the eclipse, so treat driving in the eclipse like you’re driving in the evening.

“Use common sense while you’re driving. Make sure you are paying attention because there is going to be an increased amount of traffic. Thankfully, we’re not in the direct path of the eclipse, but those states that are are expecting a huge increase in people traveling,” Sgt. Bonar said.

AAA East Central cautions those seeking an ideal location to view the eclipse to be mindful of traffic congestion, distracted driving, gridlock, pedestrians, cyclists and construction zones even if no workers are out.

Also, anticipate heavy congestion, especially on the interstates in the path of the eclipse on the day before, day of and day after.

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