What’s in a name? Apparently, the term ‘accident’ may have something to do with how people view their responsibilities as drivers. Typically, when a reference is made to an automobile collision, people call it an accident. However, safety advocate groups would like to see these incidences called ‘crashes’ in order to focus attention on the problem of human error. They believe the use of the word accident implies that no one is at fault when crashes occur, fueling widespread apathy among drivers. With roadway fatalities increasing at a rate not seen in 50 years, many are calling for a change in semantics.
According to the nonprofit National Safety Council, deadly car crashes are on the rise, resulting in many injuries and fatalities. Nearly all crashes are a result of negligent driver behavior such as distracted driving, using cell phone while driving texting while driving, driving while intoxicated and other risky behaviors while only 6 percent are linked to vehicle malfunctions or weather. Since, the cause of many car accidents are a result of negligent actions taken by one or more drivers, some say “call it what it is” – a crash – rather than referring to it as an accident outside of a driver’s control.
As of 2014, New York City’s policy states the city “must no longer regard traffic crashes as mere accidents, in an effort to reduce roadway injuries and fatalities. San Francisco and other cities and at least 28 departments of transportation have adopted similar policies. In April, The Associated Press announced a new policy stating that, when negligence is claimed or proven in a crash, reporters should avoid using the word ‘accident’, which can be read by some as a term exonerating the person responsible. Many, including a number of aggrieved families who have lost someone to a car crash, feel that this is a step in the right direction – negligent driving is no accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Iowa car accident, contact the Des Moines car accident personal injury lawyers of Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for immediate assistance today at 515-244-1473.