And if you look to your left…

Another new experience for me; suddenly the flow of traffic comes to a halt. “Accident ahead” I think to myself. But I am only half right.

Gradually the traffic starts to move; at first, a crawl, then slowly gathering speed. “They cleared that accident quickly” is my immediate reaction. However, it strikes me that the driver ahead is looking left, out of his car across to the other side of the road. Then I see the accident on the other side. A multiple car pile up with assorted bashed vehicles spread across the carriageway. One is mounting what I would call the central reservation. One is pointing in the wrong direction. There are people walking about the scene, some in emergency services bibs, and some looking like extras in a film, with no obvious role to play. We all look at the carnage on the other side of the road, then drive on.

This has happened twice to me in the last couple of weeks, but before then I had never experienced rubbernecking. I don’t know if I was participating or encouraging this behaviour. After all, the traffic had slowed down anyway, and everyone else was looking left. What harm could there be? I wasn’t holding anyone back, and I wasn’t taking any joy or satisfaction in the accident. But it didn’t feel right. Maybe I will just have to hope I do not see any more accidents. (Yes; that is an unrealistic wish.)

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