What is rubbernecking, and why is it dangerous?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2022 | Car Accidents

You might have heard the phrase “don’t be a rubberneck” before, but if you haven’t, you should know what it means. A rubberneck is someone who gets distracted and looks at something that is happening outside their vehicle. For example, if you see a crash on the side of the road and you turn your head to continue looking at it while driving, you’re said to have a “rubber neck.”

The problem with rubbernecking is that it is very dangerous. While on one hand, looking at a crash outside your vehicle is important to make sure you avoid any debris. On the other, looking for too long can lead to you colliding with someone else or going off the road.

What should you do to avoid rubbernecking?

To avoid rubbernecking, the best thing to do is to be aware of the risks. When you realize that it only takes a few seconds to end up in a collision, it becomes much easier for you to refocus. Instead of thinking that it’s fine for you to look at what’s happening and slow down to get a better look, remember that doing that could hurt the flow of traffic, cause you to go out of your lane or lead to other problems.

What should you do to avoid a crash with a rubberneck driver?

If you notice that a crash is coming up ahead of you, be mindful of the drivers in your lane and next to you. If they start to rubberneck, they could drift over into your lane, slow down enough to cause a rear-end crash or cause other problems.

Instead of waiting to see what happens, it’s helpful for you to put some space between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. If you notice someone drifting, honk. Being aware of your surroundings could help you prevent a crash caused by someone else’s negligence.

These are a few things to keep in mind about rubbernecking. It’s dangerous and can lead to crashes, so it’s always best to try to avoid it. If someone hits you because they were distracted, remember that you may have a right to pursue a claim against them.


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