A driver who slows down when passing an accident to take a picture of the scene with a digital camera. [Blend of digital and rubbernecker.]
Rubberneckers attend to the spectacle so avidly that they themselves then get into accidents, slamming into the car in front of them when it brakes to get a better look or dig out a cellphone to take a picture. (This happens often enough for traffic types to have coined a word for it: 'digi-necking.')
—Mary Roach, "Slow-Moving Vehicle," The New York Times, August 10, 2008
I've just learned a new word for one of the reasons why accidents slow down the traffic around them more than might be expected.
That word's 'digi-necking'. We already know about rubber-necking, craning the head around in to strange positions to get a better look at the results of a car crash, but this is a step further — it involves scrabbling around in the car or a pocket to get hold of a digital camera or mobile phone to record the fact that the digi-necker saw it.
—"Digi-necking discovered as a word, and as a side effect of car accidents," You Claim, August 29, 2008
Not only do we have a morbid curiosity to rubberneck, but we feel we should not miss out on what others have had a chance to see. ...
The ubiquity of cell phone cameras is making things worse, as "digi-neckers" slow things even more to take photos of incidents.
—Tom Vanderbilt, Traffic, Alfred A. Knopf, July 29, 2008
The word rubbernecker actually began its linguistic career as just rubberneck, which in turn came from the verb to rubberneck. We now use that verb most often to refer to drivers who can't resist gawking at the scene of an accident. However, when the verb first appeared in the late 19th century (the Oxford English Dictionary's earliest cite is from 1896), it had the more general sense of "to crane the neck in curiosity; to gape at something." Now the digi-neckers have arrived to take their morbidness to new heights (or, I guess, lows).