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Why rubbernecking is hard to resist

On Behalf of | May 24, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Texas and other states have noticed a trend in the number of accidents that are caused as a result of other accidents. When drivers have to maneuver around an existing accident, they tend to go very slowly and don’t pay as much attention to what’s going on in front of them. This type of situation happens so often that it is given a specific name: rubbernecking.

What is rubbernecking?

Rubbernecking is a term given to moving your neck to get a better view of an accident. As you move your head to get a better view of the accident that you’re passing, you tend to completely obstruct your view of what’s going on in front of you. While rubbernecking is a natural human response to interact with the surroundings, it’s necessary to break this habit to avoid being involved in an auto accident.

Rubbernecking is thought to be a natural human response due to the built-in flight-or-fight response. A person’s survival instinct is to assess what’s happening so they can react to it in an effective manner. While this is a good response to have, it can be highly dangerous when driving down the roadway.

It only takes a few seconds

It’s been shown that a driver traveling at 55 miles per hour on the highway covers the distance of a football field in five seconds. That is a long distance at a relatively high speed to travel without looking at the roadway if a driver is distracted. When people rubberneck, they typically spend about five seconds looking at the accident scene. Those five seconds could result in a serious motor vehicle accident.

Rubbernecking is a term that most drivers are familiar with. While it’s their initial instinct, it’s important for drivers to override that instinct and pay attention to the roadway. When your car is traveling down the road, your attention should always be on the roadway in front of you.