The Holidays tend to bring with them an increased number of vehicle crashes. In many instances, newsrooms describe these events as “accidents.” Unfortunately, the word “accident” implies that it is nobody’s fault and the events are unavoidable. We come to accept the idea that “accidents happen.” The problem is especially troubling when describing collisions with bicycles and pedestrians. A recent article in CITY LAB describes the problem in detail. The article can be found HERE.
Approximately 94% of all vehicle crashes are caused by human behavior. They are preventable. We believe it is more accurate to refer to these events as “collisions” or “crashes.” Changing the term will help people realize that avoiding collisions is within their control.
New York DMV Commissioner and Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder said, “When reporting on crashes, terminology absolutely matters. Data shows that driver-related errors are a primary contributing factor in almost all crashes – and therefore they are avoidable. Helping drivers understand their role in safety on our roadways by driving responsibly and preventing avoidable crashes is a vital public safety message that the GTSC promotes year-round.”
So a gentle reminder, you should start using the term “collisions” or “crashes” in your reporting.
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