Solar Eclipse Safety: Tips and Precautions

March 28, 2024 | CAA Niagara


Solar Eclipse Safety: Tips and Precautions

Family looking at Solar Eclipse using solar glasses.

The Niagara Region is gearing up for an incredible show on April 8th, 2024. With a front-row seat to the solar eclipse, you're in for a treat! This natural phenomenon, where the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting its shadow on our planet, is a sight to behold.

While the allure of a solar eclipse is undeniable, it's essential to prioritize safety when observing this spectacle. Whether you're watching from the heart of Niagara or elsewhere, here are some crucial tips to ensure you can enjoy the event safely.

Driving Safety During a Solar Eclipse

If you're hitting the road to catch the eclipse or just happen to be driving during the event, here's how to keep safe:

No distractions: Keep your eyes on the road, not on the sky. Avoid distractions such as looking at the sun or trying to capture photos while driving.

Use headlights: As daylight dims during the eclipse, visibility on the road may be reduced. Turn on your headlights to ensure other drivers can see you, especially if you're in an area experiencing totality.

Plan ahead: As a prime spot to view April’s eclipse, Niagara is expecting an influx of over a million visitors coming to watch this rare event. That means lots of cars on the roads and crowds to contend with. Make sure you plan your route and give yourself extra travel time to get there. And don't forget to pack everything you'll need for the day—like a portable phone charger, water and snacks—so you'll be all set even in the midst of all the hustle and bustle.

To stay up-to-date on road conditions and closures, visit 511 Ontario.

Pull over safely: If you really want to see the eclipse but find yourself behind the wheel as it begins, find a safe spot to pull over. Make sure you're well away from traffic before you look up.

General Safety for Observing a Solar Eclipse

Observing a solar eclipse directly without taking precautions can pose serious risks to your eyesight. Here are some general safety tips for safely viewing the eclipse:

Use proper eye protection: Never stare directly at the sun! Wear special eclipse glasses or use a viewer with a solar filter. Sunglasses, or unfiltered cameras or telescopes are not safe for viewing an eclipse.

Keep an eye on children: Make sure everyone has their eclipse glasses on while they watch the eclipse.

Use indirect viewing methods: No glasses? No problem! You can still see the eclipse indirectly by making a pinhole projector. There are many resources available online that will walk you through how to make one with a few simple supplies, like this video from NASA.

Be mindful of surroundings: While the eclipse captures your attention, be mindful of your surroundings to prevent trips, falls, or other accidents. Choose a safe viewing location away from hazards like cliffs, bodies of water, or busy roads.

Capture memories safely: If you're taking pictures, make sure your camera has a solar filter. And never look at the sun through your camera's viewfinder!

With these easy tips, you're all set to enjoy the solar eclipse safely. Get ready for an out-of-this-world experience! Happy viewing!

If you are in need of roadside assistance, call 1-800-263-3616 or request service through the CAA Mobile App. Due to the high-volume of traffic expected in the area, we may experience an increased level of calls for roadside assistance during the lead up to, and post event time. Service requests will be handled on a priority basis.

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