Rubbernecking accounts for 16% of all vehicle crashes and is the leading cause of distracted driving accidents.
There’s something disturbingly morbid about our fascination with car crashes. Why is it we can’t take our eyes off of an accident scene? As soon as we see those flashing lights and fire trucks, we crane our necks trying to see the carnage on the side of the road. Unfortunately, that’s when we get distracted and create crashes of our own. In fact, one study showed that rubbernecking was the leading cause of vehicle crashes.
There’s no magic trick for avoiding this distraction, just willpower and common sense. Recognize that an accident scene is an especially dangerous environment. There may be debris on the road. There are police and emergency personnel outside of their cars assisting those involved. And there are other drivers who are busy trying to sneak a peek at the wreckage instead of watching the road. This means you need to be especially vigilant, and maybe take a minute to be thankful that you weren’t the one involved in the accident.