The number of fatalities on our roads is at a level unseen in 50 years of driving. Here at GWC Law, we can help you if you have been affected by any of the issues discussed in this article. Many of these deaths have occurred as a result of collisions and crashes. You may have noticed that we have not used the term accident, and that is no mistake. A growing body of safety advocates across the political spectrum are campaigning to stop using the word accident. Why is this change happening and is there any merit to it?
Why Say Collision or Crash?
Dr. Mark Rosekind the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said recently, when using the word accident, it’s almost like saying that “God made it happen.” He later went on to say that in our modern society, our use of language is often “everything.” Dr. Rosekind is not alone in this thinking, with a little effort, it is easy to find many other federal official, state leaders and grassroots pressure groups that feel the same way. Their goal is to change a 100 year old mentality that they believe trivializes human error, which is the most common cause of traffic incidents.
The Case for Human Error
Virtually all car crashes occur as a result of human error, which could be a simple lack of judgment or risky activity, such as drinking and driving, driving while distracted and falling asleep at the wheel. Approximately 6% of incidents are caused by weather, vehicle malfunctions and other factors. A study from 2015 carried out by the National Safety Council shows that fatal car crashes rose by almost 8% last year killing around 38,000 more people.
What is in a Word?
Those seeking to remove the word accident from the driving lexicon when describing collisions and crashes believe that it inspires apathy towards the issue. They insist that changing the words used may alter the perceptions of drivers and policy makers. They believe that the word accident assumes that the collision was unavoidable, and no person can be faulted. At this point we cannot know if this new terminology will catch on, it may be perceived as simple semantics or political correctness, but on closer examination perhaps there is some merit to the argument.
If you need some legal advice regarding a traffic incident, contact us at GWC Law. We have a vast amount of experience in this area, and we can offer you the right advice.