Experts warn of potential increase in fatal car accidents during April 8 total solar eclipse.

Travelers in Cedar City, Utah, are being warned of potential traffic issues ahead of an upcoming solar eclipse on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. Electronic signs along Interstate 15 and Interstate 70 are alerting drivers to prepare for possible delays as they make their way to view the celestial event.

Scientists are cautioning that the total solar eclipse, scheduled for April 8, could lead to an increase in fatal car crashes. This warning comes after the “Great American Eclipse” of 2017, which saw a brief but significant uptick in fatal crashes across the United States during the eclipse.

Researchers have found that the surge in crashes during the 2017 eclipse was not directly related to the darkness during the event itself. Instead, the increase in accidents was tied to the times before and after the eclipse, when people were traveling to get to the path of totality. This increase in traffic congestion contributed to a 31% rise in fatal crashes compared to other time windows.

Measures to prevent accidents during eclipse-related travel include adhering to speed limits, minimizing distractions while driving, using turn signals, and wearing seat belts. It is important for all travelers to take these safety precautions to avoid accidents and injuries during this unique event.

While the study focused on fatal crashes, it is likely that there were also less severe accidents during eclipse-related travel for which data was not available. As the solar eclipse approaches, it is crucial for drivers to stay safe on the roads and be mindful of the increased risks associated with this natural phenomenon.

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