The 2024 total solar eclipse promises to be a breathtaking experience, but it is crucial to stay safe during your journey. Ensure your travel safety before, during and after the eclipse by checking traffic conditions and following the tips below the map.
For travel conditions in Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio, visit INDOT's Travel Information page.
- If you are involved in a car accident, call 911.
- If you are stranded on the side of the interstate, you can call 855-463-6848 to see if one of INDOT's Hoosier Helpers can assist you.
- Before the Eclipse
Before the Eclipse
- Plan Ahead: Indiana is in the path of totality for the 2024 solar eclipse, making it a prime viewing location. To ensure a smooth trip, start planning well in advance. Research your eclipse viewing site, considering accessibility, parking, and crowd size. Consider booking accommodations and transportation early, as they may fill up quickly due to high demand.
- Health Precautions: Your health is paramount during this journey. If you have pre-existing health conditions, consult your doctor before embarking on your trip. Ensure you have an ample supply of necessary medications and any devices you need are charged (or you know a place ahead of time where you can do so).
- Weather Check: Stay updated on the weather forecast for your chosen viewing location. While Indiana generally experiences favorable weather conditions in the spring, it is essential to prepare for possible changes in the forecast. Appropriate clothing and gear for varying weather conditions will enhance your eclipse experience.
- Horse Safety: Traveling by horse buggy or cart, or horseback, is common in some areas of rural Indiana. Be cautious driving in these areas, especially if you see roadside horse-drawn vehicle signage. If you typically travel by horse, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) recommends not to be on the roadways during the eclipse, among other safety tips.
- During the Eclipse
During the Eclipse
- Traffic Awareness: Anticipate increased traffic. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) provides real-time traffic updates and road closures. Use navigation apps and check INDOT's official website for traffic information to plan your routes and travel times accordingly.
- Respectful Eclipse Viewing: If you are watching the eclipse at a state or local park, respecting the environment and fellow visitors is crucial. Follow all park rules and regulations, especially regarding parking, littering and campfires. Use designated viewing areas and respect any restricted zones set up by park authorities.
- Leave No Trace: Embrace the "Leave No Trace" philosophy. Clean up after yourself and leave the place better than you found it. Dispose of trash in designated receptacles, or better yet, pack out all your waste to help maintain the area's natural beauty. Consider bringing reusable items to minimize single-use plastics.
- Safety and Conservation: If you view the eclipse at a park or other natural area, protect sensitive ecosystems and stay on designated trails and paths. Avoid disturbing wildlife and respect any conservation efforts in place. Do not pick flowers or damage vegetation. Your actions can have a lasting impact on the environment, so tread lightly and with care.
- Community and Courtesy: Be considerate of other eclipse viewers. Keep noise levels down during the event so everyone can enjoy the celestial spectacle peacefully. Share your knowledge and eclipse glasses with fellow spectators, fostering community and shared wonder.
- After the Eclipse
After the Eclipse
- Plan Your Method: Plan your post-eclipse transportation method well ahead of time. Ensure everyone in your group has a safe and sober way to return to your accommodations or home. Having a plan and adjusting to changes is better than being stranded with no way home.
- Traffic Congestion: After the eclipse, exercise patience when leaving the viewing area, as traffic may be heavy. Indiana State Police and local law enforcement agencies will be managing traffic flows. Follow their instructions and be considerate of fellow travelers for a safe departure.
- Responsible Celebration: If you have celebrated the eclipse with friends or family and consumed alcoholic beverages, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Never drink and drive. Designate a sober driver in advance, or arrange for alternative transportation options like rideshares or taxis. Indiana has strict DUI laws, and driving under the influence can lead to severe consequences, including accidents and legal penalties.
- Trash Disposal: Protect the environment by disposing of your trash responsibly. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may provide designated receptacles for proper disposal at state park properties. Help maintain the state's beauty and leave no trace of your visit.
In preparation for the 2024 solar eclipse, many Indiana state agencies will provide information and tools to enhance safety and convenience for travelers, such as the road-trip checklist from VisitIndiana.com. Stay connected with these agencies through their websites and social media channels for real-time updates and resources.
Following these travel safety tips and utilizing state resources can ensure a memorable and safe experience during Indiana's 2024 solar eclipse. Remember that preparation is the key to enjoying this celestial wonder while keeping yourself and others out of harm's way. Safe travels!