TDOT offers driving safety tips for solar eclipse

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - People across the country are planning for the solar eclipse coming August 21, but many people still have questions about how to handle driving during the historic event.

Memphis and neighboring cities like Nashville will become prime destinations for next Monday's solar eclipse.

People will come from across the Mid-South mostly by car, creating holiday-like traffic along the eclipse's path of totality.

"There will be heavy congestion on the roadways and drivers need to pack their patience and prepare to sit in traffic for long periods of time," said Tamra Johnson with AAA.

AAA said it's why highway safety during the eclipse is the company's major concern.

"Make sure that if the eclipse is starting to occur and you want to watch, pull over to a safe location so you can do so," Johnson said.

It seems like a given, but officials warn that you should not wear your eclipse glasses while driving. The solar filters are designed to limit normal visibility.

In a new solar eclipse video campaign, Tennessee Department of Transportation is warning drivers to not just pull over, but pull off the interstate. They say parking on the shoulder creates a crash hazard for you and other vehicles.

TDOT said all lane closures will be temporarily suspended from noon on Friday, Aug. 18 until noon on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Their highway signs serve as a reminder that it's illegal to park on the shoulder other than for an emergency.

Equipped with their own solar eclipse glasses, TDOT tweeted they are on the roads and ready. As always, highway patrol officers suggest you drive defensively.

10 great places to see the eclipse

Seeing the eclipse in Tennessee

Clarksville: 2:19 of totality

Gallatin: 2:40 of totality

Nashville: 1:57 of totality

Lebanon: 2:37 of totality

Cookeville: 2:32 of totality

For more information about seeing the Great American Eclipse in Tennessee, click here.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.