gapers' block

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

gapers' block (plural gapers' blocks)

  1. (chiefly US and Canada, idiomatic) A traffic jam resulting from motorists slowing to look at a motor vehicle collision or other roadside distraction.
    • 1967, "Above It All," Time, 10 Mar.:
      In the lingo of the traffic reporters, "gapers' block" is a tie-up caused by motorists slowing down to gape at an accident.
    • 2001, "Rocky Road Rocky Mountain National Park boasts as ear-popping drive full of peak experiences," Wichita Eagle (Kansas), 25 Mar., p. 1G:
      In the pretty, tranquil valley, elk were feeding just off the highway, creating a gapers block.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This term is especially common in the Chicago vicinity.

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