TDOT shares safety tips for driving during solar eclipse - WSMV Channel 4

TDOT shares safety tips for driving during solar eclipse

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Nashville is getting ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience - the Great American Solar Eclipse.

The eclipse is happening Aug. 21, and News 4 is working to prepare you for what to expect, including your traffic questions.

If you think Nashville traffic is bad on a normal day, try adding up to 1 million people on the roads with the sun going completely dark in the middle of the afternoon.

"We're basically anticipating a a heavy, heavy volume of traffic," said BJ Doughty with TDOT.

It's a surefire way to add confusion and traffic jams to already crowded interstates.

"We're kind of treating this like it's something in between business as usual and Bonnaroo/CMA weekend," Doughty said.

TDOT says you can expect anywhere between 300,000 to 1 million people on the roads in Middle Tennessee, with the most traffic focused in Nashville.

TDOT says it seems obvious, but it's important to remember to treat the eclipse like regular nighttime travel - if you have to be on the roads during this time.

Officials are sharing these tips with drivers:

  • Make sure to have your headlights on (if they aren't automatic)
  • Do not stop or slow down on a busy interstate or shoulder
  • Do not wear opaque sunglasses while driving

"Our biggest concern is people either stopping in the middle of the interstate to watch or pulling over to the shoulders to view," Doughty said. "Stopping in the middle of the interstate, all it takes is one person doing that and one person who doesn't see them stopped, and we could have a major tragedy."

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