CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With millions expected to travel for the Monday, Aug. 21 solar eclipse, AAA Carolinas urges traffic safety during the historical event. A total solar eclipse is expected to be visible within a path that stretches from Oregon to South Carolina.
In South Carolina, Columbia, Greenville and Charleston are forecast to be in the path of totality and should experience the full solar eclipse. Other cities such as Anderson, Greenwood, Sumter and Orangeburg are also in the path of totality. Areas including Rock Hill, Beaufort, Florence and Myrtle Beach lie outside the path and will see a partial eclipse.
It's projected that most of North Carolina will see a partial eclipse of 90 percent totality or more. Several counties in western North Carolina should see a total solar eclipse.
During the solar eclipse, depending on location, motorists could find themselves driving in the dark, or in low-light conditions during the day.
AAA offers the following driving safety tips during this unusual period of daytime low-light driving:
- Turn on your headlights well before the eclipse to help you be more visible to drivers and improve your visibility.
- Reduce speed so you'll have more time to make an emergency maneuver.
- Watch out for pedestrians! There may be people standing in or along roadways and streets watching the eclipse.
- Be a defensive driver. Be especially aware of the possibility of nearby drivers swerving into your lane.
- Do not attempt to watch the solar eclipse when driving. (Get to your viewing location well in advance of the eclipse)
- Don't depend only on cell phones for navigation. Cell towers could be bogged down and coverage could be spotty in some areas. Visit your local AAA location for maps (free to members).
- Make sure you have a full tank of gas, first aid kit, water and any necessary medication, should you get stuck in traffic.
- Follow Department of Transportation (DOT) for info on roads, routes and closures
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.