Don’t be a Rubber Necker

Rubber necking is one of the worst habits out there on the roads – and we’ve all done it. I used to just do it out of instinct cause everyone else did it i think, but honestly now after being told how dangerous it is and realizing that people are suffering potentially, the best thing to do is send up a prayer, keep your eyes on the road, and keep your eyes and your mind focused on getting safely to your destination.

For those that don’t know, rubber necking is the act of turning to look at an accident on the side of the road, and thus taking your eyes and you mental focus away from what is ahead of you on the road itself.  It often leads to 2nd and 3rd accidents and/or multi-car pile-ups as a result of several people being rubber neckers.
Your insurance agent would probably laugh if you asked if they could give you a car insurance quote that covered your penchant for rubber necking on the freeway during rush hour. And they should – it’s a silly habit that we as Americans seem to have fallen into as a whole and it makes absolutely no sense logically.  It’s one thing if you are the first on the scene of an accident, you should then of course pull over, call for help immediately and do what you can to assist the situation while being careful not to aggravate any spinal injuries or moving or prodding at an injured person when you aren’t a trained EMT.

If you see an accident on the side of the road, be aware of it, move to the opposite lane to avoid any further possible collisions with first responders or accident victims who are standing/walking by the side of the road and perhaps not as aware of you as you need to be of them. You have to realize some of the accident victims may have been jarred in the head and may not be thinking so clearly as a result.
Teens/new drivers need to be especially aware of not getting into the bad habit of rubber necking on the roads. When you start out as a driver, you don’t have any bad habits, so be aware of that and avoid becoming one of the flock who foolishly makes rubber necking a daily part of their commutes around town or when highway driving.
See what’s out there, be aware of it, avoid it, but keep your eyes and your mind pointed forward and focused on the safety of you, your passengers and those around you on the road. When you notice an accident, don’t stare at it and take your eyes off the road for a long time like most do.  And if you pray, say a prayer for those involved in the accident as you pass by, but never let your focus waiver from your desired goal of getting where you are going safely so that you can continue a fruitful life.

Photo via Michael (mx5tx)

Mike Machina has written for 944 Magazine/944.com, Comcast, The Onion and Westword and has been a car enthusiast since he was first able to get behind the wheel of a truck on his friend’s farm in elementary school. He specializes in blogging about classic cars, everyday driving tips, maintenance, insurance and car humor.

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