I just witnessed an actual rubbernecker while driving

Driving on the freeway on my way to work this morning, I passed an accident scene that happened on the other side of the freeway. By the time I passed it, it was pulled onto the far shoulder, away from my lane across four lanes of traffic, a wide median and a concrete barrier. It had happened some time ago; the ambulance was gone, the tow truck was ready to pull away with the damaged vehicle, and a cop was sweeping up broken glass and kicking away road flares. Traffic on that side was backed up for about a mile, but for various reasons the traffic on my side was only beginning to slow down.

I almost got sideswiped by one of those reasons. I had to swerve to avoid getting rear-ended; since I was on the far right lane I was able to use the shoulder to get out of her way, and she almost scraped the side of my car as I moved away. I had one of those slow-motion moments, the voices on the radio actually slowed down, and the best I could do is give the other driver a WTF? look.

I got a good look at the driver - she was actually leaning out of her window, stretching her neck towards the accident scene to get a better view of – what? The cop sweeping up glass? The tow truck driver spreading sand across the spilled gasoline? I doubt there was much carnage to see, the decapitated heads and flattened bodies (or whatever it was that she so longed to see) were tossed into buckets at least half an hour ago.

I’m reminded of the 4 F’s that motivate us all - feeding, fleeing, fighting, and FUCKING GET YOUR EYES BACK ON THE ROAD!

Seeing this rubbernecking idiot driver has profoundly affected me. I’ve been completely naive until now, of how truly stupid some people get behind the wheel. This was no momentary distraction - she was driving at about 30 miles per hour, hand fidgeting on the wheel, and staring INTENTLY at something that wasn’t even in her road.

I should’ve honked, something to get her attention. :smack: Instead I just let her pass, then I moved into the far left lane, away from her.

See, that’s what you get for not taking the subway. :slight_smile:

I dunno, I guess I’d have to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she recognized the car as belonging to someone she knew and was slowing down to take a better look to confirm that?

Man, I would take one if we had them in my area. Driving to work is like going through a goddam obstacle course every day. You know those training sessions you see in movies where a prospective cop walks through the course and shit suddenly flies up in front of him? Yeah-- it’s like that.

About a month ago, I considered starting a thread of my own because I was so irked by what happened on my way to an appointment. Traffic had come to a near stand-still on our main street. (Two lanes in either direction.) I had left twenty minutes early, though it should have only taken ten to get there. I ended up being late. Why? Because there was a minor accident on the other side of the road.

It was in no way impeding traffic on the northbound side. Hell, it really shouldn’t have slowed traffic much on the southbound side, either, because the cars involved had been moved off the road. But people wanted to see. They crept by, ogling the bent fenders with fascination. As soon as you passed the site, traffic was clear.

Since I earned my living on the road I can honestly say that I always kept my attention on the traffic in these situations, but I also made allowances for this type behavior because I knew it was just a fact of life and it will never change.
It does seem interesting that the OP gives a detailed description of the accident scene, before launching into the mini tirade about rubbernecking. Hmmm?

It’s funny the information you can retain up when driving. You’re generally more alert, especially when passing an accident scene, so you pick up more details. I took in all I described at the accident scene with barely a second’s worth of glancing.

I’m surprised you’re surprised about this, seeing as how you earned your living on the road. :dubious:

If you say so. :frowning:

I always thought you could see a lot more of an accident if you just glanced at it periodically while maintaining a constant speed. Slowing down to look causes a chain reaction of people alternating between looking at the accident and looking ahead of them to avoid hitting the cars in front.

And the excuse of “it might be someone you know” doesn’t really fly with me. I mean, even if it was your dear grandmother, or child or spouse or dentist’s assistant, what the hell could you do about it when you’re going the other way on the highway? Slamming on the brakes and swerving across lanes just increases the likelihood that you’ll be in an accident, thus causing your rubbernecking friends and relatives going the other way to do the same thing, leading to more accidents…total chaos!

…If I thought one of my relatives…well one of my relatives I like… were in an accident that I WAS DRIVING BY, I would probably be more focused on that then possibly my own courteous driving.