AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Saturday, Central Texans will witness a natural phenomenon, with an annular solar eclipse poised to cross the state and linger above Austin at 11:54 a.m. But don’t let any eclipse peeping hinder your driving skills this weekend.
The Austin Transportation and Public Works Department is advising residents to not attempt to watch the annular solar eclipse while driving. Instead, motorists are cautioned to park or pull over to safely view the event.
From a safety standpoint, it’s encouraged to not park along the interstate or on the shoulder of the road, especially since those areas have higher traffic volumes and the shoulder is reserved for emergency situations.
With an annular solar eclipse, only a ring of the sun will be visible as the moon passes over it. As a result, it will be much darker than typical, and drivers are advised to travel with their headlights on.
Austin Energy confirmed to KXAN that the city’s streetlights system is automatic and triggers on when light levels are low enough. As a result, street lamps will turn on due to the darkness caused by the eclipse.
Drivers are cautioned to be careful and mindful of any excess traffic as people pass through to watch the event. It’s also critical to avoid looking at the sun during the eclipse without proper eclipse glasses.
The annular solar eclipse is poised to begin here in Central Texas at 10:23 a.m. and culminate at 1:33 p.m. Full annularity and peak darkness will occur around 11:54 a.m.