Should we Call them Road ‘Accidents’ or ‘Crashes’? It’s Actually an Important Distinction!

The incidents which generations of people have grown up calling “road accidents” or “highway accidents” are wrongly named — they need to be referred to as crashes or collisions — but if this sounds like nothing more than silly word-play and semantics to you, read on, because there is a very important reason behind it.

Photo of an SUV in Florida narrowly avoiding a collision with a semi tractor-trailer that rightlytly had to go wide in order to make a sharp right turn and which had been signalling the intended turn correctly for plenty of time. Classic unattentive driving by the person in the SUV.
The driver in this SUV in Florida brakes hard and narrowly avoids a collision with a semi tractor-trailer that correctly had to go wide in order to make a sharp right turn and which had been signalling the intended turn for plenty of time. Sadly, this was classic and potentially lethal inattentive driving by the person in the SUV.   (Copyright image.)   [1]
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The British Pushed Euro-NCAP Standards Forward but Now There’s a Problem

David Ward, the Secretary General of the Global New Car Assessment Programme, has written an excellent article outlining the history and challenges of the U.S. NCAP and Euro-NCAP that is extremely well worth reading for anyone with a serious interest in vehicle safety or in road safety in general.

Emergency Roadside Extraction, Treatment and Evacuation of Crash Casualties

Years ago, in professional circles, we used to talk about “The Three E’s” of road (or highway) safety, and these were:

  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Enforcement

The belief was if one taught people adequate and accurate information — including high-quality driving lessons — about staying safe on the roads, and the engineers designed and built safer roads and vehicles, and the police enforced the laws to make people drive to better standards, then safety would be maximized.

Photograph of the scene of a fatal road crash in the USA.
A fatal road traffic crash (not “accident”) which I came across by chance on my travels in the USA. The tragic purpose of the yellow sheet on the ground is self-evident.  Copyright image.

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