Don’t Call it a Car “Accident”
Safety advocates are trying to change the way we talk about motor vehicle crashes.
Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said that the term car “accident” implies that it was no one’s fault, it could not have been prevented or foreseen.
In reality, more than 90% of collisions are caused by driver error – drinking, distracted driving, speeding, and other risky behavior. Relatively few are true “accidents,” caused by uncontrollable situations like a mechanical malfunction, icy roads, or other factors.
So what difference does it make? Why does it matter what word we use to describe these incidents? Road fatalities are on the rise. Safety officials, lawmakers, and aggrieved families feel strongly that language reflects our attitudes, which affect policy. When the language we use implies that nothing could have been done to prevent a tragic “accident,” we are perhaps less likely to seriously invest in laws and infrastructure and behavior to make streets safer.
Social media and grassroots campaigns aiming to influence the media (the Associated Press guidelines, for example) and how they refer to these events in the news. They hope to reverse the sense of apathy that surrounds the term car “accident” in order to inspire a sense of responsibility.
We investigate the causes of devastating car crashes every day, and it’s true: these things don’t just happen. More often than not, they are preventable. They are the result of unsafe driving behaviors that we all need to take more responsibility for. When someone drives drunk, or while texting, or disregarding posted speed limits, and gets into a crash – that is no accident.
We believe the at-fault party should be held responsible if their reckless actions caused someone else harm. If you have been hurt in a crash, contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation.
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