We have changed the language on Coluccio Law’s websites and blogs: here’s why we’re using car crashnot car accident.

There is a public health crisis on the roads

About 36,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2019. (The total number of fatalities for 2020 is expected to be even higher.)

That is the entire population of Lynnwood, Washington. Can you imagine if everyone in Lynnwood—or in Bothell, or Walla Walla—died in one single year?

There would be a massive public outcry. We would all demand answers, accountability, and changes.

We have all become too accustomed to senseless deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. We should not accept a public health crisis as a series of “accidents” just because we are used to it.

Lynnwood-Washington-Crash-not-Accident-ColuccioLaw

About 36,000 people die in car crashes in the U.S., every year. That is the entire population of a small city like Lynnwood.

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:

  • Distracted;
  • Inattentive;
  • Speeding;
  • 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 “mistakes” or “mishaps. And certainly not “accidents.”

“Car accident” implies that no one is at fault.  

Have you ever heard of a “plane accident”? 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 “car accidents.”

Changing 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.

Our law firm wants to help make that change.