Rubbernecking: A Dangerous Curiosity for Drivers

The phrase “curiosity killed the cat” is not just a warning phrase that parents may tell their kids when they seem to be a little too mischievous. The phrase can be used in so many circumstances, but there is one instance that really can have life-threatening results: the scene of a car crash.

We’ve all done it. We’ve watched as others have, too. We’ve seen the effects of it and probably gotten extremely frustrated because of it. I’m talking about ‘rubbernecking’ at an accident scene. Counting the emergency vehicles at a scene; trying to see just how bad a crash is; looking to see if people were hurt. We are curious by nature.

But, before you strain your neck and ease off the gas pedal at the next accident you come across, there are a few safety warnings that you would be wise to consider.

The Dangers of Rubbernecking

  • Greatly increased chance of rear-end collisions
  • Accidently swerving into other lanes or nearby vehicles
  • Inadvertently missing/ignoring traffic directions from emergency personnel
  • Causing traffic jams or backups due to slow, inconsistent driving

If you happen to cause another car accident because of your curious gawking, officials may look to see if you were negligent. Did you swerve dangerously, switch lanes without signaling, sideswipe another car, or accidently hit a pedestrian? If so, you could be legally liable for the injuries and damage you caused.

Do you know someone who has a dangerous of habit of ‘rubbernecking’ at accident scenes like it’s no big deal? Feel free to share this page on Facebook. Taking a few moments to carefully navigate around an accident scene can enable emergency personnel to focus their full attention on the original accident victims at the scene.