Should We Stop Calling Car Wrecks “Accidents”?

The word “accident” implies something unavoidable, something that “just happens”, and something for which no one can be held responsible.

Car accident victims may even believe that it is wrong to seek compensation or sue for their injuries because it was “an accident” and the person who caused it didn’t do it on purpose. But here’s the thing. When someone chooses to text while they drive, run a red light, or speed, that action is taken intentionally. Sure, they hope they’ll dodge the bullet and not get into an “accident” but they did drive dangerously on purpose even if they didn’t really think of it as dangerous. And you, the victim, should not have to pay for it, they should.

Colorado State Patrol Trying to Change Mindsets

The Colorado State Patrol has told its troopers to stop using the word “accident”, and start using the word “crash” or “collision” in its place. They want the general public to make this change too.

Why? Because if we stop thinking of crashes as “accidents” we also stop seeing them as unpreventable. It puts drivers, and even passengers, back in control of their destinies. It helps us stay aware of the fact that we can do something to prevent a crash. We can control our own behavior. We can influence the behavior of the driver when we are passengers. We can remind our loved ones that they not only have a choice, but are constantly making choices that can make the difference between life and death when they are behind the wheel.

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