HY DOESN’T THE NHTSA SAY “ACCIDENT” FOR A CAR CRASH?
Posted on Monday, May 15th, 2017 at 4:07 am
We use a great deal of the information published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding statistics for car, truck, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents. However, we never paid very much attention to the words the NHTSA uses to describe traffic collisions involving motor vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians until this week. While researching California accident statistics, we found a curious article entitled “Crashes Aren’t Accidents Campaign.”
Apparently in 1997, the NHTSA determined that “accidents” are not accidents. Using the term “accident” to describe a traffic-related collision was misleading. According to the information by Pamela Anikeeff, Traffic Safety Programs, continuing to use the word accident implies that a crash or collision is an “act of God” when it is actually an effect of a specific action by a human.
The NHTSA made a commitment to use words such as crash, incident, collision, or injury when speaking about a traffic-related matter instead of using the word accident. It felt that using these words better described what occurred and emphasized the fact that the injuries resulting from a crash are avoidable. The use of “accident” inferred that someone could not stop a crash from occurring. The goal was to completely remove the word “accident” from all materials, communications, and speeches.
Do Accidents Occur or Are All Crashes Avoidable?
The theory behind the NHTSA campaign was to stop perpetuating the believe that some crashes or collisions could not be avoided. In other words, no matter what the driver did or did not do would not change the result. However, if we look at the fact that we can pinpoint the cause of an accident, we must admit that crashes are avoidable. There is always some reason for a crash, even if the driver did not intend to cause the collision.
For example, a driver rear-ends the vehicle in front of him. Some people might argue that the collision was a true “accident” because the driver tried to stop but could not because of the wet road. However, what if the driver had been following at a longer distance? Then the driver would have had additional time to stop before colliding with the other car. For the reason, police can charge a driver with “following too closely for conditions.” In other words, it is the driver’s fault, not the weather, for the crash.
The fact that we can determine the cause of a crash and place blame is a key element of filing a personal injury claim for a car crash. If you cannot prove fault, you cannot recovery compensation. Because you cannot receive money from the weather for rain on the road, we must be able to hold a driver who was traveling to fast or following too closely liable for not taking steps to prevent a crash because of dangerous weather.
Call a Sacramento Car Crash Attorney
If a negligent driver caused you or your family an injury in a crash or collision, we urge you to contact our office to schedule an appointment with an attorney. We can assist you by investigating the crash to determine the cause to prove the other driver is liable for your injuries.
Call The Tiemann Law Firm can be reached by telephone at (916) 999-9000 for your free consultation. Our law firm serves clients in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, El Dorado Hills and other communities in the greater Sacramento area.