Class Action Rubbernecker Insurance
I’ve mentioned this idea before in passing, but I keep coming back to it, so I’ll post it again.
I think car insurance should be enhanced to handle rubbernecking.
What do I mean?
Well, let’s say you have an accident on a major freeway. You know how much traffic that backs up because of the rubberneckers out there having to catch a glimpse? And follow that through to the end results:
- Lost time for everyone stuck in traffic
- Depleted natural resources because of the decreased gas mileage of all of the idling vehicles
- Increased stress on everyone in the traffic
If I’m caught up in traffic because of an accident that’s not my fault, I feel that I should be compensated for the time and resources wasted by the natural effect that others gawking will have on my time.
It would work like this: Someone has an accident and you get stuck in traffic. Once you get home, you go to a government web site (or some centralized location) and file your claim for reimbursement class-action style - give your name, contact info, etc. Then the reviewing agency would go through each filed claim, compare the claim information with the accident reports on file, and pay out accordingly.
The money to pay the claims would come from the insurance company of the at-fault party in the accident. You cause the accident, you cause the gawking, you pay.
I’ve only come up with two problems: First, there’s no way to prove you were actually caught in the traffic. You may have been, but you may also have gotten a tip-off from your friend. Everyone’s car would have to have, like, a GPS tracker or something (and that’s a whole other can of worms). Second, insurance companies would probably go broke (or insurance costs would skyrocket).
But that’s not the point!
Then again, maybe police and fire agencies should have giant privacy curtains they put up around wrecks so you can’t see anything. Might be inconvenient, but it would sure fix the traffic.