Solar eclipse 2024 Scientist warn of BIG danger on April 8

Researchers at University of Toronto are worried about a potential jump in car accidents during the celestial event
A representational image. — Pixabay
A representational image. — Pixabay

Stargazers and eclipse enthusiasts eagerly await next month's celestial spectacle, but scientists are issuing a cautionary note alongside the excitement. A total solar eclipse will grace North America on April 8th, offering a breathtaking view for skywatchers in certain regions. However, safety concerns have emerged as preparations for the event ramp up.

While lucky folks in 14 states, including Texas and New York, will get the full effect, Brits will only see a partial one. According to the reports by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the eclipse will kick off in Mexico at 11:07am PDT and then journey across the US and Canada, wrapping up on the coast of Newfoundland at 5:16pm NDT.

While people are eagerly waiting for the astronomical event, scientists are throwing up a red flag for drivers as next month's solar eclipse approaches. Researchers at the University of Toronto are worried about a potential jump in car accidents during the celestial event.

Read more: 2024 total solar eclipse — What will happen?

They dug into data from the last big eclipse in 2017 and found a troubling trend. According to their analysis, there were over 1,000 more road deaths across the US in the days surrounding the eclipse compared to normal periods.

The numbers seem to back them up. The researchers found that during the eclipse timeframe, fatal car crashes were happening at a rate of about 10.3 people per hour, compared to 7.9 people per hour on average. That's a 31% jump in deaths on the road.

So, if you're planning a road trip to catch the eclipse, this is a heads-up to be extra cautious. More cars on the road and people excited about the event could be a recipe for disaster.

Researchers wrote: "This averaged to 1 extra crash-involved person every 25 minutes and 1 extra crash fatality every 95 minutes."

One of the reason behind an increase of driving is due to there being so many more people taking to the roads to travel over to places to be able to see the eclipse.

The upcoming April 8 eclipse is estimated to see over 3.7 million people travel to one of those key 14 states to experience the wonder.

It’s likely Texas will see the most travellers, which is said to amount to around 270,000 to one million visitors because it has such a prime location for viewing the solar eclipse.