Car Crash Not Accident


Most car ‘accidents’ aren’t really accidental at all. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research this year found 94 percent of all motorvehicle crashes are the result of human behavior. In other words, they could have been prevented. This is something that our attorneys are well aware of.

In a recent Northland News Center (Duluth MN) article, a safety advocate said, ‘I honestly cringe when I hear someone say ‘accident’. I know it’s just a word, but it’s important in how we view it [vehicle crashes]. How we view a crash is how people are responsible behind the wheel. In other words, it’s how we interact with each other on the roadway.’

According to the article, MN state and federal agencies have been on board with the language for years. In 1997, NHTSA stopped using the word ‘accident’ to refer to collisions on the road. Traffic safety experts say 28 state departments of transportation have now made the same move.


The article goes on to describe a greater push to educate the public and the media about the impact their words have. ‘People think of ‘accidents’, as chance events or random occurrences,’ said one safety official. ‘But the word crash doesn’t say that same thing. We want people to think about what they’re doing behind the wheel.’

Before moving into traffic safety, Larason was a traffic reporter. He says he spent years referring to traffic ‘accidents.’ Then he started speaking with crash survivors. ‘It troubled them when they would hear of the person who hurt them, who was drugged or drunk, saying, ‘Well, it was an accident.’ It was a way of deflecting blame,’ Larason said.

A car that has been smashed in to pieces.
Car Crash Injury Attorneys

Larason helped launch the Drop the A Word campaign two years ago. It is an effort to get the media to stop using ‘accident’ as a blanket term for all automobile crashes. The hope is that the change in wording will drive a bigger shift in public perception. ‘Is changing from the word accident to crash suddenly going to save thousands of lives? Maybe not,’ Larason said, ‘But will it get into the mindset of people that these are not just chance, inevitable occurrences that can’t be avoided? I think in that case, the answer is yes.’


If you have been injured in a car crash in Minnesota, call us and speak with a lawyer for a free consultation.Our attorneys have more than 25 years’ experience representing car crash victims and their families throughout MN. We will explain your rights, help you with the auto insurance issues, and make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to.