Rubbernecking is a commonly used term; it occurs when the driver of a vehicle focuses on something outside of their vehicle instead of the task at hand. It most often happens when driving past an accident, a fire, a disabled vehicle, or anything else on the side of the road. Rubbernecking not only causes traffic to come to a halt, but it can also lead to secondary and tertiary accidents.
The dangers of rubbernecking
Car insurance companies and other experts have labeled rubbernecking as a form of distracted driving. It is a dangerous practice because it takes your eyes off the road. In fact, when you take your eyes off the road for more than two seconds it doubles your chances of getting into a car accident, according to Flagger Force. Rubbernecking can lead to serious accidents if one car drifts into another lane, or if a driver slows down to see an accident without the car behind him/her realizing it.
It can be difficult to avoid a rubbernecking incident because you cannot control what other drivers do on the roads. This means that you could be involved in a rubbernecking accident that could leave you seriously injured or worse.
The dangers of distracted driving
Rubbernecking is not the only form of distracted driving, but it is a more common one. A quarter (25 percent) of all accidents are due to distracted driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), injuring about 1,000 people a day. Researchers believe that anywhere from 10 to 16 percent of car accidents are caused by rubbernecking.
Other types of distracted driving include:
- Using a mobile device
- Using a GPS
- Talking to passengers
- Changing the radio stations
- Getting dressed or changed
- Applying makeup or shaving
- Drinking and eating
- Reading a magazine or map
- Looking for an item you dropped
- Rummaging through the glovebox
Distracted driving can impact you in one of three ways: cognitively, visually, and manually. When you stop thinking about the task of driving, you are distracted cognitively. When you stop looking at the road, you are distracted visually. When you take your hands off the wheel, you are distracted manually.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) drivers who are under the age of 20 have the highest number of crashes that end in fatalities due to distractions. Nine percent of all motor vehicle accidents involving teenagers resulted in fatalities due to distracted driving in 2017.
Chicago car accident attorney Neal Gainsberg understands the impacts a car accident has on its victims. Mr. Gainsberg will fight to ensure that you receive the proper compensation for your injuries. Call Gainsberg Law at 312-600-9585 or complete the contact form found on our website to schedule a free consultation today.