An eclipse made its way across America on August 21st, 2017. Though only a full eclipse in parts of the country, even a partial eclipse is a rare and awe-inspiring sight. Decades can pass between eclipses, and many Americans hosted viewing parties with specialty equipment and glasses to make it safe to stare at the sun.
Finding a safe place and a safe way to watch the eclipse was ideal, but many people still needed to work, run errands, or had other reasons they needed to be on the road during the event. Unfortunately, the eclipse posed significant risks for drivers, particularly drivers who struggle to see in lower light conditions.
One of the biggest risks to drivers during an eclipse is other drivers. People can easily be distracted by the strange sight and lose track of the traffic around them, resulting in drifting in and out of lanes, lead foot, or quick braking. And when they notice they have drifted or lost track of their speed, there is an increased risk of a collision due to a tendency many people have to overcorrect.
The eclipse was temporary, but nature has other ways of distracting drivers, from deer on the side of the highway to breathtaking mountain views. There are no hard numbers on how many accidents a year are caused by drivers who are distracted by the sights around them, but even one accident is one too many.
Though an eclipse is a rare and wonderful sight, it is no excuse for unsafe driving. Distracted driving is dangerous, whether the distraction is changing the radio station, checking your cell phone, or Mother Nature. If you or someone you love has been injured by a distracted driver, please retain an experienced attorney to help you hold them accountable for their unsafe actions.