What’s the harm in calling it an “accident”?
This is something we hear quite a bit when we try to get people, especially reporters to stop using the word “accident”.
- “It doesn’t make any difference.”
- “So what?”
- “People don’t think about what the definition is.”
It's our belief that the prevalent overuse of the word "accident" puts people in the mindset that they are not responsible for the actions in crashes. It's not just drunk, drugged or distracted drivers. It's the rest of us who make errors in judgement or thoughtless decisions that lead to crashes. We all need to take responsibility for our actions, no matter how small if it led to a crash. The word "accident" allows us all to deflect that responsibility.
Scott Marshall wrote this excellent post on this blog The Safe Driver some time ago. It’s a MUST read.
“If you believe these are accidents then they will happen to you. If you change not just the word but the mentality to ‘crash’ or ‘collision’, then you’re making the switch to believing they are preventable.”
|Scott Marshall - The Safe Driver|
I've worked as an EMS first responder in the San Francisco bay area for more than four decades. I'm glad I discovered this website and blog. The repeat term of 'Accident' heard countless times on news reports daily have instilled this crazy belief in people, that it's not only their fault...it was 'unavoidable', as well.ReplyDelete
The stigma of that word nauseates me every time I hear it...news folks need to change the way they do 'business', by weaning themselves away from it all together, and eventually drop it from their vocabulary for good! Thank you!