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Why do people "rubber-neck" at fires and accidents?

  1. petenali profile image86
    petenaliposted 4 years ago

    Why do people "rubber-neck" at fires and accidents?

    I was mad last night as I drove past the scene of a house fire near my home.  As an ex-police officer I was ticked!  There was car after car of "onlookers" blocking the highway, stopped to watch the show.  What were they hoping to see?  It's no different at a road traffic accident?  Move on and let the emergency services do their job already!!

  2. peeples profile image95
    peeplesposted 4 years ago

    I believe it's human nature at it's worst. We all crave drama in one way or another. Many crave it from outside their own lives in the source of being nosy!

  3. Wayne Brown profile image83
    Wayne Brownposted 4 years ago

    It is the lack of self-discipline on their part.  It is the same reason we do not allow the average citizen to fly around in airplanes without extensive training.  The automobile has gained the reputation as a "killer" because of the lack of human attention to detail and focus.  The government continues to impose CAFE standards which only serve to make vehicles smaller and more light weight in the chase to gain the fuel economy...mix that with a lack of human focus and you have the recipe for an increased death rate on our highways but we will do it while obtaining great fuel economy...makes sense, huh?  ~WB

  4. lorddraven2000 profile image91
    lorddraven2000posted 4 years ago

    I am a firefighter so I am very used to this behavior. I hate it. We get onlookers who just want to see the gore and chaos some situations bring.

    1. petenali profile image86
      petenaliposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I hear ya brother.  Help or get out of the way and let us do our job!

    2. lorddraven2000 profile image91
      lorddraven2000posted 4 years agoin reply to this

      So true man.

    3. Cantuhearmescream profile image80
      Cantuhearmescreamposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I'd rather they just get out of the way... :-)
      Honestly though, sometimes people want to help and while it's a nice gestur, they can help by joining their local fire department or becoming a police. If they aren't trained there likely to be more of a

  5. caseymel profile image94
    caseymelposted 4 years ago

    I'm not sure, but it seems like rubber-necking is the reason for most traffic jams when I get on The Capital Beltway.

  6. Sparklea profile image75
    Sparkleaposted 4 years ago

    I think it's a natural human reaction to anything out of the ordinary.  I think many people just want to know what's going on. 

    That being said, this doesn't mean rubber-necking is okay...it's not.

    Like you point out, they are a hindrance, and absolutely no help.  They are just in the way, and, as peeples wrote, they are nosy.

    If an ambulance drives by my house in my neighborhood I automatically look out the window...but I remain inside.   A house up the street caught on fire a few years ago and I saw all the neighbors walking up the street. 

    However, I prefer to stay out of the way, and I just pray for all involved because I'd rather turn the situation over to God, than get in the way.

    Blessings, Sparklea

  7. Cantuhearmescream profile image80
    Cantuhearmescreamposted 4 years ago

    I’m a fire fighter and I see this at virtually every call whether it’s an MVA, fire or even a cat in a tree. I think as other’s have mentioned it’s human nature to be curious but I also think that people want to know if the emergency involves someone they know, if someone died or what the story is in general. Yes, even though I’m guilty of rubber-necking myself, it is one of my biggest pet peeves because all it does is create more potential hazards. That is why it is important for the emergency services to secure the scene and keep bystanders at bay. The further off we block the scene, the better.

    1. lorddraven2000 profile image91
      lorddraven2000posted 4 years agoin reply to this

      You are correct. It really does create a hazard in we are now watching our backs and the onlookers.

    2. Cantuhearmescream profile image80
      Cantuhearmescreamposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think people realize that they're making the situation more hazardous. We have to worry about ourselves first, then our fellow fire fighters, then the victims and.... then bystanders. They're only adding to our plates of people to protect.

  8. Abby Campbell profile image95
    Abby Campbellposted 4 years ago

    I guess people are easily distracted, maybe even looking for some sort of excitement.

  9. tebo profile image85
    teboposted 4 years ago

    I think people have a natural tendency to want to know what is going on. If they see flashing lights from police or fire brigade or ambulance they automatically wonder what is happening. They may stop to see what is going on and of course if there are too many of these people it becomes a problem, but really it is just human nature. They do not think they will be a problem. They may think they can help.

    1. Sherry Hewins profile image97
      Sherry Hewinsposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I agree, I don't think most people are looking for blood and guts, they're just curious.

  10. ketage profile image82
    ketageposted 4 years ago

    Pure stupidity ? Morbid Curiosity ? Its much worst in Asia, in many parts of Asia people will stop to look and write down the number plate of a car accident or the number of a house that is on fire to play for the next weeks lottery. They believe that there is a high chance of the number coming out. So you get crowds of people pushing and shoving to get close enough to write down numbers.
    I am not a police officer and do not work for the fire dept, but i do sympathize and wish that you guys could just tear gas the public and get rid of them. Bugs the heck out of me when I see people rubber-neck at other peoples misfortunes.