Total Solar Eclipse: Things you should know
On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible across the United States. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, temporarily blocking the sun from view. During this eclipse, the path of totality, the path covered by the shadow of the moon which is created by the moon completely blocking the sun, will cover ten states from Oregon to South Carolina. About 12 million Americans live within this path and another 200 million Americans live less than one day’s drive away. Authorities are expecting about seven million of those people to travel to the path of totality in order to view the total solar eclipse. It will be the first time since 1979 that a total solar eclipse will be visible from the contiguous United States and the first time since 1918 that a total solar eclipse will be visible from coast to coast. Those who have seen a total solar eclipse say it is a completely different experience than viewing a partial eclipse and that it is one of the most beautiful natural events a person can see. It is therefore expected to be one of the most photographed events in history and to set records on social media.
Because this solar eclipse has been so highly anticipated, most hotel rooms in the places crossed by the path of totality are completely booked and authorities are expecting a large number of the people traveling to view the eclipse to drive there and back in one day. Wyoming, for example, is expected to get so many visitors on that day that its population will double. Because so many people are planning on making the drive that morning, authorities in these areas are expecting massive amounts of traffic. If you are planning on traveling to see the solar eclipse here are some things to remember:
- Don’t forget to take off your solar glasses before Special polarized glasses are required to safely view the eclipse, with the exception of the totality; you are, after all, looking directly at the sun. However, the glasses are not designed for any purpose other than watching the eclipse. In fact, if they are good solar glasses, you should not be able to see anything with them on except the sun.
- Don’t pull over to the side of the road to watch. Parking on the shoulder of a highway could cause accidents, block emergency vehicles, and start fires because of dry conditions.
- Prepare for a longer drive than you expect. This means stocking up on food, water, and gas. Also, you should not rely on your phone for directions because it is possible that cell service in rural areas could get overwhelmed. Plan your route before you go (Google Maps has a map of predicted eclipse highway traffic) and take paper maps in case you need them.
Though the total eclipse will not be visible anywhere in Colorado, it will be visible in Wyoming and Nebraska. The Colorado Department of Transportation is expecting hundreds of thousands of people to travel to Wyoming via I-25. If you are planning to travel to see it, check the weather and the traffic before you go and be careful on the roads. If you do get into an accident, don’t forget to give Franklin D. Azar and Associates a call. We will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.