PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s not just excitement building for Monday’s solar eclipse; traffic is, too.
A lot of folks are expected to make the drive into the path of totality.
Monday afternoon, the solar eclipse will capture just about everyone’s attention. In Pittsburgh, it’s expected to happen between 1:10 p.m. and 3:55 p.m., but we won’t have the best view of the total solar eclipse.
If you want the best view, you still have time to get in the car and go, but just barely. South Carolina, Tennessee or Illinois are the better states to view the eclipse. The drive to any of those, in normal conditions, is between 8 and 9 hours.
But these are anything but normal conditions.
“Frankly, there’s going to be a lot of traffic, a lot of people going to see the totality, and there’s going to be a lot of people even in this location heading out to go see the eclipse,” AAA spokesperson James Garrity said, “so no matter where you’re going, make sure you give yourself plenty of time.”
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If that all sounds a little too risky for you, you can watch from our area, but again, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
Don’t try to watch the eclipse while you’re on the road.
“We advocate at all times, no distracted driving, especially during the eclipse,” Garrity said. “No cell phone use, no trying to take any pictures of it … You shouldn’t be looking at the eclipse until you’re wearing some sort of eyewear like the eclipse glasses, and we at AAA recommend not wearing your eclipse glasses while driving.”
Another AAA suggestion, if you are driving during the eclipse and you want to take a look, pull over. Find a safe place along the side of the road to take in this slice of history.
And if you are driving, remember, the sky could be a lot darker Monday afternoon than you might expect.
“Put your headlights on,” Garrity said. “You wouldn’t think about it during the daytime, but it’s going to be getting dark, and you want to make sure you have your headlights on, especially if you’re in around areas with a lot of pedestrians … And if you’re not interested in seeing the eclipse yourself, keep an eye out for other people that are. Other people that are behind the wheel and aren’t pulling off to the side of the road and are trying to get a glimpse.”