NotAnAccidentI don’t know whether the term accident has a new-found popularity, or whether I’m just more sensitive to it the last week, but it seems like everywhere I look in the news media, there it is, the term accident. I’m talking here about use for motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

The term accident implies that no one was at fault, it just happened, an act of nature. But nothing that occurs on the roadways is an accident. Someone caused it, or someone contributed to it.

#NotAnAccident (yes, I realize that this twitter tag gets used for other things, but I haven’t thought of a better one)

I have been using the term crash in place of accident for several years. However, several people have commented that crash may be more appropriate to a single user situation, as in, the car crashed into a tree, or the bicyclist crashed on slippery pavement. The word collision implies two or more users, as in, a collision between a motor vehicle and a bicycle or pedestrian. But I’m not yet entirely happy with those definitions either. Incident has also been suggested, but that seems to clinical to me, almost a valueless opposite of accident.

Here are some links:

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. When a distracted motorist hits a lawfully operated bicycle, the correct term is “vehicular assault”. I mean really…if the news teams reported that “a bicyclist riding on Main Street was the victim of a vehicular assault today”, nobody would be asking if the bicyclist was wearing a helmet or not.

  2. […] Source: Crash, crash, crash […]

  3. hi dan: check out http://wesavelives.org/crash-coalition/ for a campaign to @droptheword

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About Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.

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