Should We Stop Calling Crashes “Accidents”?

By Peter DePaolis

Recently, the Washington Post had an excellent editorial discussing how Americans often use the word “accident” to describe vehicle crashes when we should avoid using the term.

The column, written by Emily Badger, discussed how the word “accident” actually means unintentional. “We accidentally drop dinner plates, or send emails before we’re done writing them. The word also suggests something of the unforeseen — an event that couldn’t have been anticipated, for which no one can be blamed.”

The use of the term in these circumstances is justifiable. However, what irks many safety experts is that most car crashes are not “accidents.” One woman Badger talked to discussed how her 12-year-old son was killed in a pedestrian incident, saying that she dislikes using the word “accident” because it implies nothing could be done to prevent his death.

Because the use of “accident” has become so popular, an advocacy organization launched a campaign earlier this year asking people to stop using the word. “If we stopped using that word, as individuals, as a city, in a national context, what questions do we have to start asking ourselves about these crashes?” Caroline Samponaro, deputy director at Transportation Alternatives said, according to the Post.

We support the effort to reduce the use of “accident” when it comes to describing car crashes and other injury incidents. We are going to try to reduce the use of the word by using alternative phrases in our blog.

Our Maryland Attorneys Represent Car Crash Victims

If your loved one has been injured or killed in a car crash, speak to our Virginia, Maryland and D.C. injury attorneys. We can investigate your case and determine if negligence played a role in the crash.

Again, many car crashes are the result of negligence or recklessness. There are very few “accidents.” If you are injured or have had a loved one killed, hold the driver who caused the crash liable. You may be entitled to damages for your pain and suffering.

You can reach us by clicking on the live chat option on this page. To read the Post column about this subject, you can visit the source link below.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.