ITD: make sure vehicle is in good working order before traveling for eclipse

Posted at 5:15 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 12:03:38-04

The total solar eclipse will increase the total number of vehicles on the road. With thousands expected to travel on Idaho roadways, experts have a message for drivers.

"It's important to do a pre-trip check, where you check the tires -- make sure there's plenty of air pressure -- make sure there's no leaks and that fluids are topped off," said Jared Scofield, owner of Garry's Automotive in Boise. "Things that are the most basic are often the most overlooked."

Making sure your vehicle's battery, tires, headlights and brakes are in good working order could save you in the event of delays or an emergency.

The hot temperatures expected on the day of the eclipse could cause havoc on your vehicle, affecting your engine or even your air conditioning. 

"Especially with air conditioning running, it adds heat into the engine system, so we'll probably see a spike of overheating problems -- especially sitting in stop and go traffic for long amounts of time," Scofield said. 

The Idaho Transportation Department is encouraging travelers to visit the department's 511 webpage and mobile app for any delays. 

"Cell phone service may or may not work and they may not have service on their smart phone, so we encourage people to carry an Idaho State Highway map," said Adam Rush, ITD Spokesman.

Drivers should also carry emergency flares, extra food, water and clothing, and a flashlight. 

ITD is encouraging travelers to return home the day after the eclipse or even later in the week -- which would reduce the number of vehicles on highways that are returning home Monday afternoon.