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Dos and Don’ts From AAA For This Historic Solar Event

Solar Eclipse
Getty Images/Ulet-Ifansasti

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” stuck in my head for weeks! Monday is the first total solar eclipse in the U.S. since 1979. If you’re heading to the path of totality, you’ll be joining a lot of other people, although it’s still kind of up in the air just how bad it will be. AAA is offering some dos and don’ts for driving during the eclipse.

DO:

*Find a safe place to park to observe the eclipse. Keep in mind that the peak darkness phase will last just 2-3 minutes.

*Wear special eyewear and beware of bogus glasses that claim to provide special-purpose solar filters. The American Astronomical Society has put together a list of reputable brands and vendors.

*Drive with your headlights on. Not only will you will be much more visible to other drivers, your forward vision will be improved.

*Be alert to the possibility of distracted drivers and pedestrians. Drive defensively by keeping additional space around your vehicle and reducing your speed to have more time to make an emergency maneuver if needed.

DON’T:

*Attempt to watch the solar eclipse while driving.

*Wear “eclipse glasses” while driving, as the ultra-dark lenses will make it so that you cannot see the road in front of you.

*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.

More good advice from AAA:

*If you’re making the drive to watch the eclipse, get your car checked out in advance: Engine fluids, tires, and batteries are the most common reasons for car breakdowns.

*Bring water, food and maps, and tell people where you’re going.

*Don’t rely on cellphones and GPS if you’re headed to unfamiliar and remote territory. Download ‘offline’ maps to your smartphone to ensure you have a backup when you lose signal, or stop by any AAA office to pick up detailed maps for your car.

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