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Advocates strive to change car accident terminology

Fall and winter are busy seasons on Texas roads and highways, as people travel for fall break and the holidays. The tragic downside to this time of year is that the added congestion typically brings an upswing in car accident fatalities. In order to create awareness and urge drivers to begin safer driving practices, advocates are campaigning to change the lexicon from car "accidents" to car "crashes."

According to an article on the subject, the word accident when referring to car crashes was introduced into the general vocabulary in the early 1900s. The term started because manufacturing and other industries wanted to protect themselves from having to pay the cost of care for workers injured on the job. However, advocates say that by using this terminology, it takes the focus away from the fact that most wrecks are caused by human error. The article further states that many believe it subconsciously seems to excuse the driver from responsibility.

At this point, at least 28 states have moved away from using the term "accident." In other areas, safety advocates and grass-roots organizations are lobbying for the change by using social media to continue asking states to make changes. Those who are asking for this change point to the fact that road fatalities have skyrocketed at a rate not seen in half a century, and they believe that this subtle change will help raise awareness.

Despite campaigns to make people more aware, wrecks will unfortunately continue to happen due to distracted drivers and other human errors. Victims and/or their family members in Texas who have been involved in a car accident could benefit from seeking the counsel of an attorney to discuss legal options. They may be able to seek reimbursement for medical bills, loss of income and pain and suffering due to an accident caused by distracted driving.

Source: The New York Times, "It's No Accident: Advocates Want to Speak of Car "Crashes" Instead", Matt Richtel, Accessed on Nov. 10, 2016

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