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Grass-Roots Groups and Gov’t Officials Campaign to Change Term Car “Accidents” to “Crashes” – New York City Injury Lawyer Investigates

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2016 | Firm News

Grass-roots groups and government officials are campaigning to change the term car “accidents” to “crashes.” According to The New York Times, advocates argue that the word “accident” implies that collisions are the uncontrollable outcomes of fate rather than human error and misconduct.

Driver mistakes contribute to the vast majority of car crashes. According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, human error causes 93 percent of auto accidents in the United States. Advocates hope the change in semantics will raise awareness that nearly all collisions are preventable, which not only could change public perception of crashes, but also may influence policymakers.

Drunk driving, texting behind the wheel, and other negligent behaviors led to an 8-percent increase in deadly wrecks between 2014 and 2015. If you or a loved one sustained an injury due to another driver’s reckless actions, contact Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP.

A New York City injury lawyer will evaluate your crash, talk to witnesses, structure your claim, and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. Our attorneys have more than 75 years of combined experience representing the injured.

Call 917-730-7151 today to schedule a free initial consultation. You can also learn more about injury claims in New York by visiting

More Than 38,000 People Died in Car Crashes in 2015

According to the National Safety Council, more than 38,000 people lost their lives in deadly crashes in 2015. Although weather and vehicle malfunctions contributed to a small portion of these wrecks, the vast majority could have been prevented if drivers behaved responsibly.

The grass-roots effort to change the term car “accident” to “crash” follows a series of legislative changes taking place across the United States. In 2014, New York City enacted a policy that states the city must stop referring to crashes as mere “accidents.”

This policy was part of a robust campaign to reduce traffic fatalities. It was inspired by grass-roots movements led by groups such as Families for Safe Streets, an organization run by people who lost children and loved ones in car crashes.

Deceitful History of the Term Car “Accident”

In the early 1900s, employers used the term car “accident” to protect themselves from liability when workers sustained injuries on the job. The auto industry used the term for similar reasons in the 1920s when traffic fatality rates spiked.

Not Everyone Agrees with the Change in Semantics

Some critics of the grass-roots movement argue that human error can be considered an “accident” if it is preventable. They propose that the movement to change “accident” to “crash” is not correcting an injustice.

However, the effort to change the term car “accident” to “crash” appears to be gaining momentum. At least 28 state DoTs are moving away from the term “accident” when referencing motor-vehicle wrecks.

If you or a loved one was injured by a negligent driver, contact Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP. A New York City personal-injury attorney will structure your claim and help you avoid mistakes such as accepting a low settlement offer.

You may be entitled to compensation for lost income, medical bills and noneconomic damages. Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling 917-730-7151.