Collisions vs. Accident – Words Matter When Reporting Vehicle Crashes

Every day news reports refer to vehicle collisions as “accidents.” However, the word implies that these vehicle crashes cannot be avoided. After all they are just “accidents.” It is nobody’s fault. Accidents happen. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Estimates released by the National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization that works closely with federal auto-safety regulators, noted that 40,200 people died in collisions involving motor vehicles in 2016, a 6 percent rise from the year before.

These numbers are very troubling, given the safety improvements in today’s vehicles. Drunk, drowsy, distracted and reckless driving habits are driving up the numbers. Many of these so called “accidents” are avoidable. They are not “accidents” at all.

The Governors Traffic Safety Committee strongly recommends that news casts begin to rethink the words that are used to describe vehicle crashes. This is not just a semantic word game. It has a direct impact on creating a social environment where vehicle crashes are viewed as preventable.

For a terrific article on the importance of this distinction click HERE.

For more information about the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee click HERE.