The Dangers of Rubbernecking

Distractions are a common risk when driving. Momentary distractions can happen at any moment, whether due to a baby crying in the backseat, an insect landing on your face, or another driver startling you with a loud honk. These are unexpected events, but they happen all the time.

Some distractions, however, are more deliberate: texting while driving, or paying attention to the GPS instead of the road. Another type of distraction that is more deliberate in nature is rubbernecking. Rubbernecking usually involves gazing at a motor vehicle accident while passing by the scene. Often, when drivers rubberneck, they slow down, causing other traffic to slow down significantly and even come to a halt.

Many drivers seem to be unable to avoid staring at scenes of these accidents, which often involve wrecked vehicles, emergency vehicles and workers trying to provide aid, and even injured pedestrians. Unfortunately, rubbernecking often results in more than simply minor traffic delays. This activity can cause other car accidents as drivers are distracted.

What are the dangers of rubbernecking?

Distracted drivers who are rubbernecking have an elevated risk of causing an accident as a result of the inconsistent driving patterns that occur from this activity.

When traffic speed slows down, the distance between cars is often shortened. This, combined with other drivers being less attentive while rubbernecking, can easily result in a rear end collision.

Additionally, individuals who rubberneck may inadvertently swerve into adjacent lanes of traffic, causing significant danger to other drivers and passengers, in addition to emergency responders at the scenes of these accidents. The situation is even more dangerous if the adjacent lane into which the driver swerves has oncoming traffic.

Distracted drivers can easily miss directions from traffic officers and even fail to see traffic signals at accident scenes. Drivers who are rubbernecking or otherwise distracted may be given traffic tickets or fines for these failures. If the driver causes injury or damage to persons or property as a result of distracted driving, he or she may be held liable for paying those damages due to negligence.

If you have sustained an injury due to a distracted driver, our Huntsville attorneys at Martin & Helms are committed to working on your behalf to hold any responsible parties accountable for your losses. We will fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. To arrange a free case evaluation, call us today at 256.539.1990 or leave us a message to our contact form. We provide our services from our offices in Huntsville and Decatur, and also serve clients in Athens, Madison, and throughout North Alabama.