When there's an accident on the road, other drivers have a tendency to slow down and stare at what's happened. This is one potent kind of driver inattention or distraction. If you're looking over at the crash, you're not concentrating on your own driving or on what's happening on your stretch of the road.
By rubbernecking, you could actually bring about another accident, with potentially deadly or otherwise serious consequences. One recent tragic accident that might be an example of this occurred on Buckman Bridge in Jacksonville. Although an investigation is still ongoing, it seems that a number of drivers were staring at a jack-knifed trailer across the bridge. One driver wound up colliding with the back of a pickup truck up ahead on the lane. He knocked the pickup into the river, and after some struggles, the pickup driver drowned.
The driver who rear-ended the pickup claims he didn't see it up ahead. Investigators will have to look into his driving behavior as a whole, whether he was distracted, for example, and perhaps was speeding at the same time.
When drivers are distracted on the road, they're more susceptible to a number of behaviors. They're more likely to speed, drift into another lane, and not brake in time. Their reaction times are slower.
When it comes to the specific distraction of rubbernecking, it's best to tamp down your curiosity and keep focusing on the road, not least because other drivers may be distracted and behave in unpredictable ways as they engage in rubbernecking. Remain alert to changing conditions on the road that are of immediate concern to you.
In the event of an accident, don't hesitate to contact a reputable Stuart, FL car accident attorney. You may need assistance with insurance companies and possible legal advice in the event that there's a civil suit. In the meantime, be sure to take the proper safety precautions on the road. Don't underestimate the impact of even a few seconds of inattention when driving.