Words matter. What we call something changes how we think of it. Saying someone made a bad choice sounds better than saying he hurt someone. For years, we have referred to all car accidents as accidents, not differentiating between genuine non-preventable accidents and crashes that are caused by someone doing something dangerous.
A new movement, Transportation Alternatives, is aiming to change that. Transportation Alternatives is pushing news agencies and everybody else to stop calling car crashes car accidents. If the crash was caused by someone doing something dangerous, no one should pretend it was just an accident. It is a noble goal, and one that could lead to positive change if it works.
Where exactly to draw the line between preventable and unpreventable is difficult, but there are some obvious examples of crashes that are easily preventable, including:
- Crashes caused by drunk drivers
- Crashes caused by speeding and reckless driving
- Crashes caused by texting and other forms of distracted driving
Though it will always be impossible to completely separate accidents from crashes, just starting by identifying these types of crashes as crashes could go a long way towards changing the way society sees them. There would be no more drunk driving accidents. We would refer to them as drunk driving crashes. No more texting accidents. Instead, they would be called crashes caused by texting while driving.
Changing society takes time. Though it would be wonderful if tomorrow the world changed and everyone accepted that drunk driving crashes are crashes and not just accidents, it will likely take time. During that time, people will continue to drive drunk and text and drive and put others at risk.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a drunk or distracted driver, you can help society change. Hire an experienced attorney who can help you hold the driver responsible for causing the crash.