Subtitle

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Drop The "A" Word - Not all crashes are accidents

Friday, May 8, 2015

Minnesota State Trooper Q&A - The difference between an "accident" and a "crash"

Question: As a traffic safety official, I am very upset that people don’t realize that there is some significance as to what is going on with using the term “crash” as compared to using the word “accident” in news articles and other media. I see both terms used and I personally know that there is some intentionality about this. I know that you use the word crash for a reason, so can you do an article about this issue so that we can get everyone on the same page?

Answer: There is indeed something going on, and intentionally for the most part. The spark for this issue stems from a court trial from more than a decade ago involving the intentional ramming of a police vehicle, which resulted in the death of a police officer. During the trial, an attorney brought up the point that the incident was referred to by police in all of the reports as an “accident.” It also was reported by police on an “accident” report form, thus it was argued that the incident was not intentional and charges should be dismissed. I won’t get into the results of that trial, but ever since that time, traffic safety officials in the state have made a huge effort to influence everyone to use the word “crash” and not the word “accident.”

Read the rest of the story here in The Fergus Falls Daily Journal

Author - Minnesota State Police Trooper Jesse Grabow

Follow on Twitter - @MSPPIO_NW 

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