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Rubbernecking: What Is It? And How Is It Dangerous?

Rubbernecking. It is a term coined for the act of slowing down while driving past the scene of something occurring outside your car. It may or may not come as a shock to you, but rubbernecking is a form of distracted driving. It is a significant issue that many people don't talk about, and it's on the rise.

It doesn't take long for a rubbernecking incident to happen. Taking your attention off the road for more than two seconds increases your risk of getting into a car accident 2x. In the third second, you could have injured someone, killed someone, or run your vehicle into another one. Approximately 1,000 people are hurt in the United States daily by distracted driving every day. And researchers estimate rubbernecking alone causes roughly 10% of all vehicle accidents.

Why Do People Do It?

Curiosity is a part of human nature. The term rubbernecking came into use as early as the 1800s and originally referred to what we know as the act of eavesdropping, looking, and listening to someone else's business.

It eventually transformed into the act of doing it while driving.

Whenever we spot an accident across the highway or road, we are naturally inclined to slow down, sneak a peek, and try to comprehend what happened. It might even be connected to the survival instinct.  

Just Don't Do It

During an open opportunity to rubberneck, it is necessary that you pay extra attention to what's going on in front of you instead. Every other motorist is likely guilty of rubbernecking, just like you may be tempted to do. Rubbernecking has become such a major problem that first responders frequently place barriers to hide the accident so that people won't look. The last method of prevention is simply not to do it. By reading this article and familiarizing yourself with the potential risks, you can learn not to rubberneck. 


Rubbernecking can be just as dangerous as texting and driving. We highly encourage you to do what you can to prevent adding to the fatal statistics.


For all your auto needs, please do not hesitate to reach out to East Coast Diesel today.