You Just Can’t Not Look
As we were driving in to work today, there was an accident on the other side of the road. A big duelie truck pulling a bobcat on a trailer appeared to have run off the road to play a game of chicken with a tree. By the looks of the front of the truck, I’d say the tree won. And before anyone goes off on a tangent, I’m not so unfeeling that I didn’t check to see if anyone was injured and it didn’t appear that there were any serious injuries. In fact, it appeared as though only the one vehicle was involved. And from my own deductions, during the less than 30 seconds of review of the crash scene as our car passed by (at the posted speed limit), it would appear that someone was probably braked to turn into one of the business on the opposite side and the truck driver may have been preoccupied with a cell phone, food, or who knows what and didn’t give himself enough time to brake. But rather than hit the car in front of him, he went left and down the slope into the tree line.
As several of the ladies in my office come from the same direction as myself, it was interesting to hear the comments regarding how slow-moving the traffic was. Not because there was any road blockage, but because everyone ahead of them had to slow down to see what was going on, how bad the crash was and of course to see if it was anyone they recognized.
Which leads me to the title of this blog: You just can’t not look. I think it’s instinctive to look and see if we recognize the vehicle. If we don’t recognize it or any of the individuals milling around the accident scene, we immediately switch to curiosity mode, checking out and filing away as much detail as we can for something to talk about over lunch, an excuse for being late or just to bring up a subject that someone else might not know about.
Even when the accident may involve injuries or even fatalities, people can’t help but slow down and look at the scene before them. It’s like there is some gross, twisted fascination with the wreckage that cannot be denied.
I just hope that in those briefest of moments, when you pass them by that you reach out with thoughts of well-being for those involved in the accident and make sure that you take more care so that it’s not you the next time around.