How is it that a car crash can tie up traffic on both sides of the highway?  An accident can be completely contained on one side of the highway divider; yet traffic can come to a virtual standstill on the other side.  We call it rubbernecking – implying that we may have to work pretty hard to get a good look.

Why do we do this?  What are we looking for?  If it’s reassurance that no one was seriously hurt, news is only a screen and a tap away.  But the disturbing reality is that some of us find other’s pain to be interesting, even enticing.  Are we hoping to get a glimpse of someone bleeding, even dead?  Surely we can get enough of that on network news. 

Rubbernecking is not against the law.  However, a behavior does not have to be criminal to reflect the lowest common denominators in human nature.

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