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In our everyday lives, how often do see, say or hear the phrase “car accident”? The use of this phrase has become widespread; however the word “accident” denotes something that is unintentional and this is not the case in a “car accident”.

An alternative way to look at a “car accident”, is to look at it as a “car crash”. The phrase “car crash” is more suitable because it implies that it was caused by human error. For example, the driver could have been texting while driving, speeding or even drunk driving; these are all preventable examples and therefore are not accidents. The New York City nonprofits Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets have been advocating to change the phrase from accident to crash. Their hope is to change the culture of traffic violence. Although saying “car crash” won’t prevent more crashes, it can potentially change the mindset of drivers. Drivers will begin to realize that they have the power to prevent a crash by being alert while on the road.

Next time you are out on the road or hear someone say “car accident” just remember that you can prevent a crash by being a responsible driver and you can make people aware of the difference between an accident and a crash.

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