Increased risks on the roadway due to solar eclipse

It is well known that on April 8, 2024, a rare solar eclipse will be visible in southern Ontario between 2:00 and 4:30 p.m. It is the first total solar eclipse visible in Ontario since 1979, and the next total solar eclipse in Ontario will not be until 2099. Needless to say, this is a once in a lifetime event, which is causing an enormous amount of excitement not just locally, but in cities all across North America in the path of the eclipse.   

However, along with excitement, there are also a number of risks the eclipse will bring to our roadways including increased traffic, distracted drivers, and uncommon driving conditions. It is easy to learn of the cities that will be in the path of totality for the eclipse – those located in the centre of the moon’s shadow that will experience a total eclipse. These cities include larger centres like Kingston, Hamilton, and Niagara Falls. In fact, Niagara Falls is anticipating such an influx in people that it has pre-emptively declared a state of emergency. Those wanting to avoid the large crowds in the bigger cities, but wishing to see a total solar eclipse, will travel to other smaller cities or towns in the path of totality. This will lead not only to increased traffic in and around those areas, but cities will be overwhelmed with drivers that are unfamiliar with their surroundings.   

Distracted drivers should also be anticipated on the afternoon of April 8th. Drivers travelling during the eclipse or just before or after are very likely to be distracted and interested in seeing what they can of the eclipse despite being behind the wheel.  

This article is part of Oatley Vigmond’s recurring sponsored content series, The Law and You. To continue reading the story, please click here to visit

About the Authors

A born-and-raised Barrie resident, Karen knows and loves her community. She is proud to be a partner in one of Canada’s most successful personal injury law firms—right in her own backyard. Karen joined Oatley Vigmond in 2013 as an associate lawyer. She holds a BA from Queen’s University and her Juris Doctor from Bond University in Australia. Prior to being called to the Bar in January 2013, Karen articled at a well-known personal injury law firm in Toronto.

To learn more about Karen, please click here.