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To detest gawpers.

(57 Posts)
MrsLouisTheroux Fri 30-Aug-13 15:26:13

We were in a queue of traffic because a man had been hit by a vehicle. He was lying on the road and had lost some of his clothes. The ambulance/ police arrived as we were sitting in our car.
I was horrified that so many people in front of our car got out of their car to have a good old look. We could just see the man from our car behind theirs ( he was being attended to by others) and it was clear and obvious that there had been an accident.
The number of rubber neckers who got out of cars/ opened doors/ leaned out of windows to get a better view was unbelievable. They didn't go to help, they were gawping.
The cars started to move and the one in front of us actually stopped alongside the man to have an even better look. WTF?
AIBU? Am I the only one to think that this is awful? The people driving in front of me seemed to think it was ok angry

ConfusedPixie Fri 30-Aug-13 18:09:47

YANBU. I find it ridiculous when I'm in traffic and it's chocka, you wait 20 minutes to move a few hundred yards and then you get through to a clear road, all that traffic because people are stopping to get an eyeful!

I remember being stuck in traffic like that not long ago on the A27 driving home from work. There was one of those portable signs up saying that the road merged into one lane and that there was an incident. Got stuck in it for ages as people were actually stopping and blocking the road to try and see the 'incident', there was no incident they'd just used the wrong bloody sign and it was scheduled roadworks which I sailed through the next day when they'd corrected it!

perplexed that's a different situation though, it's not the "I've turned up five minutes later and want a peek" that is what most people do as they drive past accidents.

Sparrowfarts Fri 30-Aug-13 18:13:42

Bugger, not cannon into the car in front because you're not concentrating on the road.

We lived over the road from the scene of a notorious murder years ago and the increase in traffic for weeks after (slowing right down in front of the house opposite) in our quiet street was phenomenal. No idea what they expectd to see.

yellowballoons Fri 30-Aug-13 18:21:45

I have seen this happen too. To my family, though thankfully it wasnt an accident.
I was amazed at the gawpers, who just stood there watching, bold as brass. Some did a brief look and walk on, fair enough. But I didnt realise till then, the sheer number of people who are quite happy to stand and stare. For quite some time too.

OxfordBags Fri 30-Aug-13 18:26:23

I was on a bus once when a man on the pavement started fitting and fell in front of the bus, and it hit him hard, then went over him. Probably half the passengers were arguing with the driver to be let off the bus to go and have a look. It was quite obvious that it was going to be horrific - there was blood and... stuff on the windscreen - and yet they were gagging to check his body out. I was absolutely sickened, it was like the accident was a trigger for them to drop their mask of decency and normality and act like zombies clamouring for at least the sight of gore.

The poor man had indeed died, I found out later.

MrsLouisTheroux Fri 30-Aug-13 19:09:43

perplex your situation couldn't be more different to the one I described so I honestly do not know what the sarcastic 'thanks' was for.

oldgrandmama Fri 30-Aug-13 19:19:46

I was in a supermarket last year when a tiny baby suddenly stopped breathing. As I went past on my way out, I checked that an ambulance had been called - it had, but meanwhile the frantic mother and several supermarket staff were doing CPR on the baby. I was appalled to see a woman standing nearby, avidly FILMING the emergency on her mobile phone! I felt like hitting her!

BTY, I checked later and the baby was resuscitated, had a stay in hospital and was OK.

Fakebook Fri 30-Aug-13 19:20:34

I find it irritating too, but I think it's kind of a natural reaction wanting to see what's happened. I know I always get an eyeful when I drive past a road accident.

The worse I've heard about is when a few months ago my husband was walking through town to get to work and we have a tall tower in the city centre that's a tourist attraction. The roads had all been blocked off because someone had jumped from the top of the tower. According to DH, people were standing near the edge of the police tape and were making videos and taking pics of the man dying on the floor as the paramedics were attending him. Horrible. Poor man died later in hospital. I have no idea what those people did with the pictures and videos. Why would you do that?

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 30-Aug-13 19:38:07

I live near the town where a young pregnant mum killed her three small children and then threw herself off a multi-storey car park. I happened to drive through a few days after it happened and the main road takes you back through the town past the car park and then right past her house. The huge mound of flowers and teddy bears and clouds of balloons was hard to avoid but I felt awful just seeing it. I didn't want to look but it was right in front of me, and to think what it represented, well it made me cry in the car. sad

It's human nature to look and see what's happened. That's why we have newspapers and news programmes to tell us what's happened. It's not nice to treat it like some form of entertainment though.

Scrabbleyurt Fri 30-Aug-13 19:46:15

Don't you think that in most cases, people are thinking 'I hope no one is badly hurt' and actually looking for some reassurance in some way that those involved are ok?

If I see an accident, it always makes my blood run cold and I might look hoping to see people sitting up, being cared for. If I thought someone may have been badly hurt but didn't look or know, it would be on my mind for a while. Wondering and hoping they were ok. Don't most people worry for the safety of others in an accident, even if they are strangers?

UriGeller Fri 30-Aug-13 19:50:09

Some people just want a bit of it, don't they?
A story to tell. To say, "I was there"

It's weird and horrible and I don't get it at all.

Oh gawkers are a way of life to me, people stare at the strangest things. I stayed at a hotel recently and had a conversation with dd which went like this about a family who were having a good old stare at my ds who's severely Autistic, not only did they put me right off my sausages they made us all feel uncomfortable (( well three of us, ds s oblivious ))

DD>> what are you doing mum ??

ME>> << fixing gawkers with Paddington bear stare >> I'm watching those people THERE << pointing my pointy finger at gawkers>> and i'm wondering if they're from a different planet dd since they don't seem to have come across the likes of your brother before.

GAWKERS >> shock carry on gormlessly gawking.

I may have been a wee bit out of order but when youre getting stared at across the breakfast table, not just by 2 kids but buy their thick twat of a mother too for the major crime of being in public with someone who is just a bit different from everyone else it gets annoying. I'm not over sensitive at all, and 99% of the time don't even notice. I was more annoyed because he was being very well behaved, just very proud of himself and letting me know in his noisy, clumsy, galumphing way he'd managed to use the toaster.

His disability is obvious, he's a 5ft 6 12 year old yet verbally he's a toddler, why people feel the need to stare open mouthed at times is beyond me.

They did it on the 2nd day too, I went over in the end, tapped the mother on the shoulder and asked if her dds maybe attended the same SN school as my boy because they kept looking over, and did they know us from somewhere ?? She did at least have the grace to look shamefaced and hiss at her dds after that but should have known better.

Will say again,I don't have a chip on my shoulder at all, my view is people will look etc but that slack jawed gawking really pissed me off !!

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 20:57:09

well the only trouble we had was from the press and paparazzi the general public were fantastic. just our experience.

KirjavaTheCat Fri 30-Aug-13 20:59:53

I've gawped.

It was late at night and I heard an almighty bang from directly outside my front door. A car had swerved suddenly to avoid a parked car and ended up on its side. It was horrific. All the neighbours ran out to help, the rest stood at their doors, some in tears... me included. It was a bad, bad crash. Luckily my neighbour's a paramedic and saved a life that night.

We were 'gawping', talking to eachother and gave our neighbour a big round of applause once the driver had been airlifted to hospital.

I can't imagine not gawping in that scenario, it was directly outside my front door... But to stop in traffic and crane your neck seems very crass. And angry to those who take photos!

saintmerryweather Fri 30-Aug-13 21:54:03

well there was q thread a couple of months back where some sick bitch the op was gawking out of her window, providing updates on mn under the guise of being concerned when the police were in her road. proper curtain twitching she was, and yet people seemed to think that was ok? iirc her neighbour had died and yet she still wasnt ashamed of her behaviour. literally providing live updates

Capitola Fri 30-Aug-13 22:11:32

It's a loathsome thing to do. Shocking that over 2million pounds was spent at the end of last year for screens to deter rubberneckers at the scenes of road accidents.

I also can't get the mawkish flower leavers - invariably for a stranger, often for something that has been in the local news or on TV. With their ersatz emotion - I think it's often just rubbernecking too.

perplexedpirate Sat 31-Aug-13 09:25:35

Well actually, OP, it is similar. There was an accident, I tried to help, couldn't, but stayed 'gawking' anyway.
According to your delightful thread, that makes me detestable, loathsome and 'a sick bitch'.
So that's what the 'thanks' was for. Have a hmm as well.

perplexedpirate Sat 31-Aug-13 09:30:15

Careful kirjava. Concern for your fellow man doesn't go down well, it seems.
I'm actually fucking furious about this thread. It took me ages to drive on a motorway after I saw the accident. Had nightmares, saw the car flipping again and again. And now it seems that people thought I was getting some sick kicks when i was watching for the people involved to be ok. Like I wanted to see that?!
Actually in tears.

yellowballoons Sat 31-Aug-13 09:35:19

perplexedpirate. In your case it was fear that made you stay, not rubbernecking.

In my scenario that I described upthread, there was no accident. No one was injured, nothing. Everyone was smiling. It was rubbernecking, pure and simple.

perplexedpirate Sat 31-Aug-13 09:39:47

I know yellow. I really was terrified, and I've overreacted.
It's just horrible knowing that people driving past, without knowing why I was there, may have seen me and thought all the horrible things that people are saying on here.

yellowballoons Sat 31-Aug-13 10:22:56

People have short memories. I doubt they remember you.

I think you have a good point though. We dont always know the reasons people do what they do, even though we think we do. iyswim.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 31-Aug-13 10:27:41

You see the other side of this is not great either. A friend of ours was the first car to come on the scene of a head on collision. When he went to help a stream of cars pulled up and waited after him politely sitting in their cars. My friend who has minimal first aid training was left giving CPR to a dying man alone and he was petrified. I think he would have liked people to get out of their cars and assess if they should offer help. Not sure what happened to the other driver but the one my friend was with died before the ambulance came.

SilverApples Sat 31-Aug-13 10:32:01

How many current TV programmes are there, based on the idea of gawping at others?

yellowballoons Sat 31-Aug-13 10:43:42

True SilverApples. But they either want people to gawp or do not realise they are being gawped at. And either way, they somewhat know what is going to happen. In other words, their free will choice.

yellowballoons Sat 31-Aug-13 10:45:49

neunund. sad
My guess is that others didnt think they knew more first aid that your friend. Though I am surprised that none of them even went nearer and supported your friend through his ordeal.

yellowballoons Sat 31-Aug-13 10:47:08

I think shock plays a part in these things. Shock can make people literally stay rooted to the spot, as happened to perplexedpirate.

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