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Car accidents are ugly, destructive, life-changing events. Crashes can severely alter the driving environment by blocking lanes, placing debris on the roadway, and causing road, bridge, and property damage. Unfortunately, just as an audience is captivated by the spectacle of a high-speed crash in an action movie, motorists approaching an accident scene tend to be distracted while “rubbernecking” to get a better view of wreck victims.

Ironically, car accidents can be a great model for the consequences of unsafe driving, yet drivers who observe wreck scenes tend to put themselves and others at risk due to their inattention to the road. Such was the case in a set of collisions taking place today near Hilltop Drive on I-5 in Redding, California.

At approximately 8:15 a.m. this morning, a minivan and a small car were involved in a collision in the northbound lane of I-5, nearing the SR-44 exit.

As traffic backed up in the northbound lane, and emergency vehicles began to fill the center divider, traffic in the southbound lane began to slow as drivers became “spectators” of the accident scene. The slowing traffic resulted in stop-and-go traffic, and eventually, one motorist who was particularly distracted by the accident failed to observe stopped traffic, and rear-ended the car in front of him.

The two collisions, taking place within fifteen minutes of each other, paralyzed I-5 for the time being.

The message from the auto accident attorneys at Reiner, Simpson & Slaughter is simple: Onlookers, lookout!

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