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The Irritation of Rubbernecking

Flickr user nSeika

I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to rant a lot about cars here at wobm.com (especially after last week’s article about “left lane campers”). Yesterday I was driving up to my mother’s house on the Parkway and I feel like I saw everything; left lane campers, speeders, tailgaters, and the dreaded collection of rubberneckers.

As I was heading on the Parkway north, I was going with the flow of traffic, between 55-65 mph when suddenly there was  an abrupt road full of red brake lights. Of course I had to hit my brakes since traffic had suddenly come to an unexpected stop, and I figured there was an accident ahead. Well, it tuns our that there was an accident, right at the Monmouth rest area, but it looked like it had happened quite a while ago. The vehicle was on the side of the road being loaded onto a tow truck, and there was a state trooper with lights on there as well.

But here’s the thing – the activity wasn’t blocking any lanes. There was no reason for the traffic on the road to come to an abrupt stop aside from people feeling the need to slow down and take a look.

Sure, I get it, it’s interesting. But again, I can think of few things more dangerous when the traffic not even 1/4 mile behind you is heading your way at roughly 60 mph than slowing down to about 35 so you can see what’s going on. And of course, there’s the frustration of the other drivers who have to slow way down just because others have to see what’s going on.

Sure, it may be a little bit of a guilty pleasure to be a little voyeuristic sometimes, but major highways probably aren’t the places to do it.

So are you guilty of rubbernecking? Do rubberneckers drive you crazy? Feel free to join in the conversation below!

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