A rare, total solar eclipse is coming to South Carolina on August 21st, 2017. This total eclipse will be clearly visible from only a thin strip of the United States, including much of South Carolina and part of Georgia – just another reason we’re lucky to live here. The initial phase of the total solar eclipse should begin around 1:16 PM EDT but the total solar eclipse should begin around 2:33 in the upstate of South Carolina (near Greenville, Anderson, Spartanburg), and around 2:45 PM EDT in the Lowcountry. The total eclipse will only last for about 90 seconds, so there really is just a brief window of time to witness the rare spectacle.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we excited about the upcoming celestial show. We also want to help keep you safe from the thousands or millions of extra people on the roads and warn you about potential damage to your eyes from viewing the eclipse without protection. If you want to observe the eclipse on August 21st, please stay safe!
Safe Driving While an Eclipse Occurs
Many people will inadvertently find themselves witnessing the total solar eclipse in South Carolina as they go about their daily business. Drivers caught unaware during the eclipse could face an increased chance of getting into a car accident due to possible confusion, eye strain, distracted drivers, and the huge number of additional drivers on the road. If you know you will be on the road between 1:15 PM and about 3:00 PM EDT on August 21st, here are a few hints to make driving during the eclipse safer.
Total solar eclipse driving safety tips you should know are:
- Do not try to photograph or film the eclipse while driving.
- Turn on your headlights throughout the entirety of the eclipse, as the different light in the atmosphere could make it harder for other drivers to see you.
- There will be many more police officers and state troopers on the highways of South Carolina during the eclipse in case of accidents and to direct traffic. Be sure to always give officers the right-of-way when they turn on sirens and flashing lights.
- Other drivers will probably be looking at the eclipse instead of the road – be aware and drive defensively.
- If possible, pull over to a safe location that is well away from the road, such as a parking lot, and wait for the eclipse to end before resuming. Remember not to look directly at the eclipse without eyewear.
- Put a pair of eclipse safety eyewear in your glove compartment just in case you are on the road when eclipse happens.
- Most of South Carolina view point hotels are reportedly already selling out, which means a huge influx of traffic due to tourists. Plan your routes ahead and give yourself ample time for potential traffic jams.
Safety Tips for Viewing a Total Solar Eclipse
At our law firm, we want people of our communities to be safe from the potential eye dangers of a total solar eclipse. Please reference this helpful list of basic eclipse safety tips and share it with your friends and family.
1. Beware Baily Beads: According to NASA, you can view a total eclipse without any eye protection for a brief period of time, but it is not recommended in the slightest. If there is any amount of light shining out from behind the Moon as it eclipses the sun, it is not safe to look at it without eye protection. There will be an incredibly brief period of time where no Baily Beads – the light shining out from behind the Moon – are visible. People who really want to enjoy the eclipse in totality should get eye protection.
2. Proper eye protection: There are many companies selling “eclipse proof” eyewear to use to see the upcoming celestial event. NASA has distributed a PDF file online that warns of faulty goggles that do not actually give the right protection levels. Make certain that any eye protection you wear has the ISO icon and the reference number 12312-2. Without this number, it might not be properly made to protect from the light and UV rays.
3. Not recommended for young children: While it is important to foster a curiosity of science in young children, it is generally not recommended that children under the age of 5 view a total solar eclipse due to the sensitivity of their developing eyes. Parents who do allow youngsters to watch the eclipse should keep their own eyes on their kids, not the sun. Kids are not likely to understand the dangers of viewing the event without eyewear and may remove the goggles.
4. Staying indoors: Of course, the failsafe way to shield your eyes from the potential harm of viewing a total solar eclipse without eyewear is to simply stay indoors. If you are not interested in viewing the celestial event directly, there will most certainly be newscasts of it live, allowing you to appreciate it from inside and with no chance of hurting your eyes. You can also click here to visit the South Carolina State Library website, which lists several pre-eclipse events and festivals. You may want to attend one such event to learn all about eclipses with your family without actually having to go outdoors during it and try to view it.
Legal Assistance in Case of an Accident
Hopefully, everyone in South Carolina can enjoy the total solar eclipse without any trouble, but realistically, some drivers are not going to be responsible and will try to view it while going down the road. If you or someone you love is hurt by a negligent motorist that distracted themselves with the eclipse, or for any other reason, please let George Sink, P.A. and our South Carolina personal injury attorneys know. We genuinely care about our clients’ futures and wellbeing, and we would be happy to provide a free case review to get you started. Just contact our firm at your first opportunity to speak with a team that has more than 40 years of total experience and that has handled more than 40,000 cases.