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How dangerous are onlooker slowdowns?

by | Apr 14, 2021 | Auto Accidents

While catastrophic events are often traumatic for those involved, they also may make for compelling viewing for onlookers. When you are traveling down the highway, it may be tempting to turn your head to see the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident on the other side.

Onlooker slowdowns are a hassle, as they tie up roadways and make commuters late for work. Still, this type of traffic congestion is often more than an inconvenience.

Rear-end accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports rear-end collisions are the most common type of motor vehicle accident on U.S. roadways. If traffic in front of your vehicle slows or stops unexpectedly, you simply may have insufficient time to avoid a rear-end collision. Even if you manage to do so, another vehicle may slam into the back of your car.

Distracted driving

Despite educational campaigns from federal, state and local governments, distracted driving remains a serious problem in the Bay Area and across the country. While you may realize sending a text message is dangerous, visual distractions may also put your personal safety on the line. Even diverting your eyes for a few seconds to look at a crash may be risky.


Eventually, onlookers always reach and pass the collision that causes a slowdown. If the slowdown is significant, drivers may speed to make up lost time. Not only is exceeding posted limits inherently dangerous, but it may also lead to needless aggressive driving.

Your best strategies for dealing with onlooker slowdowns are to reduce your speed, pay attention and drive carefully. Still, if you suffer an injury in an onlooker slowdown, you may be eligible for financial compensation to help you take control of your recovery process.