On August 21, 2017, millions across the U.S. witnessed an awe-inspiring total solar eclipse. While the excitement surrounding them is understandable, and as a reminder, eclipse-seekers should map out their viewing location in advance, and to be safely off the roadways while gazing at the skies.
When will we see the next one? The next total eclipse for North America will come on April 8, 2024. That makes it seem as if eclipses are rare, when, in fact, they’re not. They happen about every 18 months as seen from somewhere in the world. However, for any given spot on Earth’s surface, total solar eclipses don’t happen very often.
ASI also offers the following tips for drivers during the 2024 solar eclipse:
- Do not attempt to watch the eclipse while driving. Exit the roadway and park in a safe area away from traffic. The peak darkness phase will last just 2-3 minutes.
- According to NASA, you should avoid looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection. The only safe way to look at the uneclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers.
- Drive safely. Eagerness to view the event is not an acceptable reason to drive aggressively or while distracted.
- Drive with your headlights on. Not only will you be more visible to other drivers, your forward vision will be improved.
- Watch out for pedestrians. There may be people standing in or along the roadway watching the eclipse.
- Be on the alert for distracted drivers.
- Other drivers may attempt to watch the eclipse and drive at the same time.
- Keep additional space between you and other vehicles.
- Reduce your speed so you have more time to make an emergency maneuver, if needed