There is a public health crisis on the roads.
More than 35,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. last year.
35,000 is the entire population of Lynnwood, Washington. If everyone in Lynnwood—or in Bothell, or Walla Walla—died in one year, there would be a massive public outcry. We would demand answers, accountability, and changes.
We have all become too accustomed to senseless deaths and injuries on U.S. roads.
At Coluccio Law, we do not want to accept a public health crisis as a series of “accidents.”
Most “car accidents” are preventable.
An “accident” is an event that is neither predictable, nor preventable. The majority of car crashes are caused by a driver who is:
- Ignoring traffic signals;
- Making bad driving decisions; or
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Other crashes may be the result of bad road design, or unsafe vehicles.
These are predictable and preventable collisions: not “accidents.”
The word “accident” implies that no one is at fault.
Have you ever heard of a “plane accident”?
No. The common phrase is “plane crash.”
That’s because we know that planes don’t just fall out of the sky. Something goes wrong. It may be purposeful, or it may be negligent. But a plane crash is very rarely a “plane accident.”
Most people do not deliberately set out to crash their vehicles. But if someone is texting and speeding, are you really surprised when they crash?
Yet, we continue to refer to car crashes as “accidents”.
It’s time change the way we think—and speak—about car crashes.
Driving a car is the most dangerous activity that most people do on a daily basis. Because we do it so often, many drivers are dangerously casual about it.
When you are behind the wheel, driving is your primary task.
Not talking on your cellular phone, not eating a sandwich, or fixing your hair. Every driver on public roads and highways has a duty to take driving seriously.
This is a change in thought, and in language, for many people.
Coluccio Law wants to help make that change.
Earlier this year, the Associated Press changed it’s policy on the use of the word “accident”. Now most major news organizations use “crash”, “collision” or “incident”.
Several state legislatures are removing the word “accident” from state laws.
Many police departments—including the Seattle Police Department—no longer use “accident” in their crash reports. Law enforcement reports are referred as “Traffic Collision Report” not “accident report”.
We are joining them.
Say “Crash” Not “Accident”
We have seen too many innocent people hurt by preventable collisions. We have helped too many families through years of litigation after truck crash injuries and fatalities, pedestrian collisions, and other tragedies.
Coluccio Law won’t use the word “accident” to describe preventable, predictable collisions.
We have removed it from our websites, and our office communications.
We ask that you think about how you use the word “accident”; and sign the pledge to say Crash Not Accident.
Image of Lynnwood, Washington courtesy of flickr user michaelwm25