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Rubbernecking is distracted driving

On Behalf of | May 5, 2021 | Blog, Car Accidents |

The roads in Louisiana are some of the most dangerous in the country, and this is largely due to the high rate of distracted driving in the Pelican State. When researchers from a car insurance comparison website compiled a list of the states with the most distracted drivers, Louisiana was ranked seventh. Distracted driving accidents in Louisiana claimed 664 lives between 2013 and 2017, and many of those road users were killed in crashes that were caused by drivers who rubbernecked.

The consequences of rubbernecking

The word rubbernecking was first used in the 19th century to describe the act of eavesdropping on other people’s conversations, but it is now used to describe the behavior of drivers who slow down to stare at something out of the ordinary like an accident or car fire. When drivers brake aggressively to rubberneck, they sometimes cause chain-reaction crashes involving multiple vehicles. Some drivers act this way so they can take photographs to post on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Even when rubbernecking does not cause an accident, it clogs the roads near accident scenes, causes major traffic backups and delays emergency workers.

Rubbernecking is distracted driving

Rubbernecking is a form of distracted driving, and it causes about 16% of traffic accidents according to a 2013 study. Driver distractions like rubbernecking and cellphone use are so dangerous because looking away from the road ahead for just a few seconds doubles the chances of being involved in a car accident. A motor vehicle traveling at highway speeds covers a distance as long as a football field every five seconds.

Evidence of distraction

Proving that a driver was distracted when they were involved in an accident can be difficult as it is not the kind of behavior that most people are eager to admit to. When pursuing lawsuits on behalf of accident victims who may have been injured by a distracted driver, experienced personal injury attorneys could seek to gather evidence by using subpoenas to obtain the defendant’s wireless service records. Accident reports may also provide evidence of distraction if they reveal that the driver who was responsible did not brake or take evasive action. If you feel you have been injured because of this type of behavior, you may wish to consult a lawyer.