Total solar eclipse predicted to be ‘biggest driver distraction’ in history

(ABC News) — It’s been nearly 100 years since an eclipse covered the continent.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are 50 times more cars now, and traffic in the eclipse zone could be four times worse than normal.

Officials worry about rural states with narrow roads. With many in the path of totality, officials are now taking steps to minimize gridlock on the big day.

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Tennessee is limiting lane closures, while Nebraska is restricting drivers with oversize loads. Illinois plans to deploy digital message boards, and South Carolina is calling up extra State Police and first responders.

“One of the areas we’re especially concerned about are rural spots – places like Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, [and] parts of Nebraska,” said Doug Hecox of the Federal Highway Administration. “We know that tourists are flocking to those areas because the view will simply be better. But we also know that there are small roads there and local infrastructure may not be equipped to deal with the flood of tourists that they may be experiencing.”

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Worried drivers may not be prepared.

“The eclipse glasses are very good, except for driving,” said Hecox. “So please don’t drive while wearing these and don’t have an eclipse in judgement.”

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