Missouri State Highway Patrol -Safety Is Important During Total Solar Eclipse

March 25, 2024

Safety Is Important During Total Solar Eclipse

The Missouri State Highway Patrol asks the public to be aware of and plan for the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024. The viewing path in Missouri will cover more than 115 miles of the state. Totality enters Missouri as it will follow a diagonal line crossing over Poplar Bluff, MO, and exit Missouri at Cape Girardeau, MO, as it crosses the Mississippi River at 2:04 p.m. Thousands of visitors are expected to arrive in the days leading up to the event. This influx of additional motorists will affect traffic patterns. Please plan your trip accordingly.

To avoid the heaviest traffic when traveling for the event, it will be helpful to leave early and plan to remain at your viewing location until a period after the eclipse to avoid any congestion afterwards. For the most up-to-date information on the roads, visit the Patrol's website, www.statepatrol.dps.mo.gov, to check road conditions on MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map or download the Traveler Information Map to your smart device.

The Patrol reminds every driver to pay attention, obey all traffic laws, and wear a seat belt.

Additional safe driving tips include:

· Don’t stop along the interstate or park on the shoulder.

· Find a safe location to view the event and get there early.

· Don’t take photographs while driving.

· Turn your headlights on and do not rely on your automatic headlights.

· Prepare for extra congestion, especially on interstates, on the day before, day of and day after the eclipse.

· Watch out for increased pedestrian traffic along smaller roads. People may randomly park and walk alongside roads in the hour before the total eclipse to get the best viewing.

· Avoid travel during the eclipse or in the area of the path of totality if you can.

· Never wear eclipse glasses when driving a car or operating a boat.

· Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and has a full tank of gas.

· Bring along water and snacks in your vehicle.

If you have planned a day on the water for April 8, make sure your boat has the proper lighting if you will be on the water during the eclipse. It will become quite dark. Be aware of your surroundings and what hazards exist near your boat leading up to the eclipse, so you're prepared when the eclipse occurs. Always keep a safe distance between yourself and other boaters. Swimmers will be hard to see as the eclipse occurs.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is available to assist you. Should you need emergency assistance, see an impaired or careless driver, or if you see a crime being committed, call 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cell phone. The number is toll-free and rings at the nearest Highway Patrol troop headquarters.