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'It's No Accident: Advocates Want to Speak of Car "Crashes" Instead'

    'Roadway fatalities are soaring at a rate not seen in 50 years, resulting from crashes, collisions and other incidents caused by drivers.
'Just don't call them accidents anymore.
'That is the position of a growing number of safety advocates, including grass-roots groups, federal officials and state and local leaders across the

country. They are campaigning to change a 100-year-old mentality that they say trivializes the single most common cause of traffic incidents: human error.
’"When you use the word ‘accident,’ it’s like, ‘God made it happen,’ " Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
said at a driver safety conference this month at the Harvard School of Public Health.’

Well I have had a couple of accidents, one was my driver error, backing out of the drive did not notice a van that pulled up and parked on the other side of the street while trying to bust through a windrow of snow. Driver error for sure, accident, for sure, did my insurance company pay for the damage for sure, Then the guy who with no drivers license, insurance driving his sisters car, no light was green I turn and he hit me, got my deductible back 5 years later after he paid off the damages, sure most accidents are diver error, just looks like an ambulance chasers dream to change from accident to driver error, not that that is wrong, but it sounds more like a solution in search of a problem for the ambulance chasers.

While they’re at it maybe they should outlaw politicians who are caught with their hand in the cookie jar or whatever from using the word “mistake” or the phrases “error in judgement” and “victim of a political attack”…

Does this mean the FAA will eliminate the use of the word “accident” in their Office of Accident Prevention and Investigation…

Or that deceased Congressman Sonny Bono did not die of head injuries sustained in a skiing accident…

Where do they stop with this wordplay?

My kids are still little–6 and 9. Here’s a typical scene that may play out:

Me yelling: “Dammit, quit spilling. And clean up the mess you just made!”

Kid: "But it was an accident.|

Me: “No, it wasn’t an accident. It happened because you were being careless and weren’t paying attention to what you were doing.”

Whether you’re taking about pouring a bowl of cereal and milk or driving a car, the same principle applies.

I Have Been Advocating This Since The 70s When I “Accidentally” Became A Body Shop Manager. I Prefer “Collision” When Describing Most Car Body Damage (One Or Multiple Vehicles) Instances That Aren’t Theft Or Vandalism To Parked Cars.

Accidents do happen, rarely. A car “accident” is a meteor strike on your car while driving down I-80 at the legal speed limit, for example.

“Well I have had a couple of accidents, one was my driver error, backing out of the drive did not notice a van that pulled up and parked on the other side of the street while trying to bust through a windrow of snow. Driver error for sure, accident, for sure, …”

Sorry, but in my opinion driver error does not result in an accident, but rather a collision caused by a driver.

I know I pay more for car insurance because people have “unfortunate accidents.” Just this past year car insurance companies have been raising everybody’s rates because distracted driving fools are causing an alarming, ever increasing number of collisions. Sorry, those aren’t accidents. I do want these idiots to be recognized as such.

Stuff happens because of the unavoidable mix of circumstances and ineptness of people as a whole,probably there can be a root cause for many things ,but the operator usually shoulders the blame unlesss there is a scapegoat around,for instance pulling up into the blindspot of heavy equipment(good way to get crushed) the operator is really not to blame (but shouldnt the operator have got off of the equipment and do a walk around before backing the equipment up ?) It seems its politically expediant to say accident ,when its really a crash.The trouble is when something bad happens on the road the one that caused the whole scenario gots off free(had that happen on interswtate when a woman who was cut off by a truck stopped in the hammer lane and just sat there(why didnt she go on ,was she texting someone about Her near miss ? Anyway she got off with a blemished bumper and the girl behind her got a totaled car and I got a ticket for following too closely in the old company truck that had 3 brakes dragging on the concrete bridge surface ,I got all the bad feeling in that scenario,but Karma finally claimed the old junky 4 door pickup later on ) The woman that caused the accident or maybe the trucker didnt even get a reprimand. So the root cause of crashes sometimes goes unassigned .

Of course car crashes are almost never “accidents”. That is a euphemism. Airplanes and trains never have “accidents”. When the latest EgyptAir flight went down did the news report it as a crash or an accident? Crashes are caused by circumstances created by people such as errors in judgement, failure to notice obstacles, failure to adjust to conditions, failure to perform proper maintenance, and operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs (legal or illegal), to name a few.

Whether or not this benefits lawyers and lawsuits is not truly relevant. Lawsuits happen regardless of how you characterize a situation. This is truly about changing peoples’ mindset and accepting responsibility for their actions, or inactions, behind the wheel. Too many people walk away from the scene of a crash and want to call it an “accident” when they should be thinking about what they did to cause the crash. “I looked up from my phone and the car was right there in front of me!” is not a sentence that describes an “accident” happening.

My brother was hit by a DUI. The jerk tells the judge it was just an accident. Brother asked him. “How do you accidentally get drunk???”

The AAA states that 85% of crashes are due to human error, and the other 15% are mechanical failure and road & weather conditions.

Before the jet age most plane crashes were due to mechanical failure since planes were immensely complicated and used very volatile 130 Octane aviation gas. A DC 6 with 55 passengers had 4 piston engines and a full time flight engineer to keep track of all those mechanical factors. Today, a 120 passenger plane is flown by two pilots who have nothing to do most of the time.

Weather, human error and terrorists are now the main causes of crashes. Airline travel is now 4 times as safe as driving per 1000 miles.

I think road and weather conditions are still mostly human error. Many people don’t adjust their driving bases on road conditions. Snowing - they still do 80+ and wonder why they ended up in a ditch.

I agree that the vast majority of accidents are not accidents at all. Human error and human judgement are the real reason for so-called “accidents.”

@MikeInNH Agree mostly. However recalling that last time I wiped out a car, a 1966 Chevelle, I hit a patch of ice in a curve of a narrow 2 lane road. The car went into a spin and hit a huge stone pillar of the country club.

Agree that most people overestimate their skill under difficult conditions and usually drive too fast. Most accidents during ice and snow storms are rear enders.

I’m not saying that weather doesn’t cause accidents. I’m just say a lot of them probably could be avoided if they slowed down when snowing or raining.

There is the technology to take photos of drivers with automated cameras.
See if they’re using a hand held device.
Mail them tickets same as with red light and speed cameras.
Is that too intrusive?

In My State This Silly Notion Of A Collision Being An “Accident” Resulted In The Silly “No-Fault” Insurance Law, Many Years Ago.

Now, everybody gets to share the costs of “accidents” that are nobody’s fault.
Hey man, “St_ _ (stuff) happens” when you’re drunk, high, texting, driving a piece of stuff vehicle, speeding, not adjusting speed for weather conditions, or making love (duo or solo) when cruising the roads!

I have collision coverage, liability insurance, comprehensive coverage, uninsured motorist, under-insured motorist coverage, etcetera.

However, I understand that if some individual is lawfully driving their properly maintained vehicle, and has chosen not to purchase collision insurance (perhaps because of money constraints and the money was used to assure a safe vehicle) can have their car totaled by one of the aforementioned idiots and be SOL (stuff out of luck) and lose their transportation.

In fact, my son’s car was recently totaled by a young woman who was texting as she drove into his stopped car (stuck in traffic). She was ticketed, but in her short driving career was also ticketed prior to this, for drunk driving.

Good to know that No-Fault considers these incidents as “accidents”. My son’s insurance company treated him well with a settlement, but didn’t cover minor damage to a very expensive bicycle in his car, nor did they pay for a rental car, not to mention inconvenience.
This young woman who hit him drives on… She lives and works in his neighborhood. Who’s next?

@circuitsmith -NPR just had a news blurb on that yesterday. Seems many communities have abandoned the technology and others have had the courts rule it was illegal.

Not my community.

Snowing - they still do 80+ and wonder why they ended up in a ditch

Totally agree… No matter how some people try, you just can’t repeal the laws of physics!

In the last few weeks I have been paying more attention to what the drivers around me are doing and I think 2 out of 3 are distracted by multitasking. It is either the phone, or make-up or food or fighting with their passenger/etc. As much as I hate to admit it, I think the self-driving cars might be the way to go in today’s society.

"As much as I hate to admit it, I think the self-driving cars might be the way to go in today’s society."

Keep in mind, self-drivers don’t do drugs or alcohol before hitting the road or fall asleep while on the road. Even if they have some flaws it is probably a safer way to go compared with some of the clowns in the human-driver vehicles.