MDOT: Stopping during eclipse could be 'very dangerous' - WNEM TV 5

MDOT: Stopping during eclipse could be 'very dangerous'

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MICHIGAN, (WNEM) -

Millions will be treated to the very rare upcoming solar eclipse, but state highway officials are warning drivers to remain safe.

Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Transportation want to remind drivers to use extra caution during the eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21.

"Public safety is our priority," said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police. "We ask that motorists keep moving and avoid stopping in traffic or alongside of the road, which could be very dangerous. If you are going to stop, please find a safe location to park."            

The band of darkness will exclusively cross the United States from Oregon to South Carolina and "the path of totality" along the way will be up to 70 miles wide.

Although Michigan is outside this path, we will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk.

Parts of southern Michigan will have about 80 percent blockage of the sun around midday.

“This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime event and many Michiganders will make their way south to the best viewing locations,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Allow yourself extra time to reach your destination and make sure you have a safe viewing spot.”

Here are some tips for drivers:

  • Do not drive with your viewing glasses on
  • Don’t take pictures behind the wheel
  • When darkness fills the sky, turn on your headlights manually
  • Watch out for pedestrians
  • Do not pull over on the side of the road or highway to view the event.

State officials said the longest duration of totality will be 2 minutes, 41.6 seconds in Giant City State Park, just south of Carbondale, Illinois.

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