Hello. They’re crashes. Don’t call them accidents anymore. Thank you.

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Janette Sadik-Khan, author of Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution, tweeted a link to this article.

It’s no “accident” that we’ve excused crashes for decades. Our word choices matter – let’s adopt the language of life.

“Roadway fatalities are soaring at a rate not seen in 50 years, resulting from crashes, collisions and other incidents caused by drivers.”

Words indeed matter, as when my council representative imagines he belongs to a “progressive” political party.


It’s No Accident: Advocates Want to Speak of Car ‘Crashes’ Instead, by Matt Richtel (New York Times)

Roadway fatalities are soaring at a rate not seen in 50 years, resulting from crashes, collisions and other incidents caused by drivers.

Just don’t call them accidents anymore.

That is the position of a growing number of safety advocates, including grass-roots groups, federal officials and state and local leaders across the country. They are campaigning to change a 100-year-old mentality that they say trivializes the single most common cause of traffic incidents: human error.

“When you use the word ‘accident,’ it’s like, ‘God made it happen,’ ” Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said at a driver safety conference this month at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“In our society,” he added, “language can be everything.”

Almost all crashes stem from driver behavior like drinking, distracted driving and other risky activity. About 6 percent are caused by vehicle malfunctions, weather and other factors.

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