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This significant astronomical event will have a notable impact on daily life in the United States and the road transportation industry

On Monday, April 8th, the United States will witness a total solar eclipse, the first visible in the country since 2017. Due to the expected increase in traffic on roads during the days surrounding the event, several state transportation departments recommend that truck drivers avoid traveling on the roads.

This significant astronomical event will have a notable impact on daily life in the United States and the road transportation industry in the days leading up to and following the eclipse. A massive influx of travelers is expected, prompting traffic officials to warn that the day of the eclipse could be extremely unproductive for the freight transportation sector.

What truck drivers need to know about the eclipse

According to information shared by NASA, the eclipse will cross the United States around 1:30 p.m. CDT on April 8th and will exit the US through Maine around 3:30 p.m. EDT. The total eclipse path will cover 13 states: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Although the eclipse is scheduled for Monday, congestion on roads is anticipated in the days before and after due to the large number of travelers expected during this period. The last total solar eclipse occurred on August 21, 2017, resulting in a significant increase in traffic in and around the path of totality. The FHWA estimates a similar traffic situation this time.

Most states simply advise truck drivers to avoid traveling through high-traffic areas in their respective states before, during, and after the eclipse. No penalties will be imposed on truck drivers or fleets for traveling during these periods.

En la imagen se muestra un camión con reflejos de un eclipse solar

Safety tips during the eclipse

Heavy traffic demands safety measures to prevent accidents. As a truck driver, practicing responsible driving will help maintain traffic flow and prevent collisions due to distractions from other drivers. Here are some tips on how to navigate roads during the total solar eclipse, shared by the American Automobile Association:

  • Keep your vehicle’s headlights on
  • Use sunglasses and lower the sun visor to block the sun’s glare
  • Do not wear eclipse glasses while driving
  • Avoid taking photographs or recording the eclipse while driving
  • To view the eclipse, park in a safe area away from traffic
  • Stay alert for pedestrians or distracted drivers
En la imagen se muestra una mano sosteniendo un cartón para ver un eclipse solar

How to safely view the eclipse

Use proper eclipse glasses

Eclipse glasses, darker than regular sunglasses, are specifically designed for viewing solar events. Ensure that any pair you purchase includes the ISO 12312-2 filter to avoid counterfeit glasses and the risk of serious eye injuries, including blindness. Use solar eclipse glasses from the beginning to the end of the eclipse to protect your eyes properly.

Avoid missing out and traffic jams

Last-minute relocation in search of clear skies is not advisable unless the roads are clear and you have several emergency plans. An excellent way to monitor traffic before and after the eclipse is to use GPS applications to access real-time traffic information.

Use alternative methods

Experts advise against using cameras, telescopes, or other optical devices while wearing eclipse glasses, as concentrated light can damage the eyes. Instead, consider using pinhole projection methods, such as a colander or interlocked fingers, to safely observe the eclipse. It is crucial to avoid looking directly at the sun through these devices.

This will be the last opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse until the year 2044, so be sure to take necessary precautions to ensure that you and others can enjoy the significant astronomical event that will take place on Monday, April 8th.



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