AAA: Total Eclipse in the Car

Many communities in the path of totality are preparing for the eclipse by hosting viewing events. AAA has prepared for the event too.

“With the influx of people coming into Ohio, we have activated our Fleet Operations to work it as a major event too,” says Shawn Cobble, Supervisor, AAA Fleet Operations. “We are treating this as a big weather event where we will have every available truck ready to respond and serve our members.”

Eclipes_tips list.pngEstimates vary as to the number of people expected to travel for the eclipse. But drivers should make sure their vehicles are road-ready.

“Because we are expecting roads and highways to be crowded, we also expect there will be lots of calls for assistance,” Cobble adds.

As spectacular as this once-in-a-lifetime event will be, if you happen to catch a glimpse of it while behind the wheel, do not turn your eyes away from the road.

“Aside from damaging your eyes, looking at the eclipse while driving is distracted driving at its worst,” says Kara Hitchens, AAA Public Affairs Manager.

AAA recommends drivers get off the road and park in a safe place to view the eclipse. If you have to drive, keep sun visors and cell phones down to protect your eyes, reduce temptation to look at the sun, and avoid distracted driving.

Remember the moon will completely block out the sun and the sky will get dark. Drivers will need to switch their headlights on – if the car doesn’t have automatic headlights.

According to the Great American Eclipse website, Dayton, Toledo, Bowling Green, Akron, and other cities will witness totality. Cincinnati, Columbus, Canton, and Youngstown are very close to the path and can expect many people in these cities to make the short drive north on eclipse day. The city of Wapakoneta, birthplace of Neil Armstrong, will also experience totality and is notable as the site of the Armstrong Air & Space Museum.

Plan in advance

  • Because of the influx of people, AAA suggests getting your car serviced and filled with gas before the big day.
  • Do your shopping and any chores before the day. Crowds will create lines in grocery stores and convenient stores. And supplies may go quickly.
  • If you plan to travel, pick your spot and check to see if reservations are needed.

AAA Warns: Expect Traffic Jams

  • Sky gazers could take to the roads at the last minute, looking for a good view of the eclipse.
  • April 8 will be spring break vacation time for some – there may be increased travel (and subsequently traffic) up to and including April 8.
  • Pack your patience, whether traveling great distance or locally, people will be out and about to catch a glimpse of the eclipse.

AAA Driver Safety Tips during the Solar Eclipse

  • Keep headlights on.
  • Put the sun visor down to block your view of the sun.
  • Do NOT wear eclipse glasses while driving.
  • Do NOT try to photograph or video the eclipse while driving.
  • Do NOT pull over to the side of the road, highway or interstate to view the eclipse.
  • Exit the roadway and park in a safe area away from traffic to view the eclipse.
  • Be mindful of pedestrians that many be walking around with their eyes on the sky.

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