There is no such thing as an accident

The Nov. 21 Daily News included multiple references to motor vehicle “accidents” in both news stories and the police roundup.

As a former high school driver education teacher I can assure you there are few real “accidents.” There are many reasons that collisions occur, including aggressive driving, sobriety (or lack thereof), inattention, ignorance of or failure to follow motor vehicle laws and a truly small percentage caused by equipment failure.

The continued use of the word “accident” helps perpetuate the myth that auto drivers are not really responsible for the bad things that happen while driving, that destruction of property, causation of injuries and even death are simply the result of “misfortune,” a “mishap” or a “coincidence,” all of which are synonyms for “accident.”

It may feel a bit awkward the first few times your writers correctly describe “accidents” as crashes, collisions or wrecks, and your editors may have to read copy a little more closely for a while, but by replacing “accident” with words that more accurately describe what is actually taking place on the streets and highways of Moscow and Pullman you will help make our communities a better place to live.

Claudine Zender


Recommended for you