The Single Most Common Cause of Traffic Accidents is Human Error - Part I

Daniel Noffsinger - Friday, September 01, 2017

Grassroots campaigns led by nonprofits and safety advocates have begun efforts aimed at automobile drivers, laws, and reporting in this country to remove the word ‘accident’ from the popular lexicon when describing a car crash. They believe that people have become too complacent and there is a general sense of apathy surrounding car crashes. Last year car crash fatalities rose 8% over 2014, killing 38,000 people.

Driving is the Most Dangerous Activity for People

Road fatalities are soaring in all states. Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said it best during a recent conference on drivers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Massachusetts. He said, “When you use the word accident, it’s like, God made it happen.” Almost all car crashes are caused by human behavior – drinking, distracted driving, texting, and other risky behavior. Only around 6% of all car crashes are caused by vehicle malfunction, weather, and other non-human factors.


Nobody’s Fault Attitude

In Colorado, 2015 saw an increase in car and motorcycle crash fatalities . 545 people died in car crash deaths and 104 people died in motorcycle crash deaths. There is a general attitude among drivers and riders that a car crash is nobody’s fault. People’s mistaken belief or temporary amnesia does not help comfort a family that lost a loved one because the driver of the other vehicle was driving while eating, texting, or putting on makeup. Colorado officials are out in full force with safety initiatives and awareness campaigns to make those numbers come down.

Around the Nation Response

Many states have begun to adopt changes in language, removing the word accident and replacing it with the word car crash. See below for specific examples:

  • In 2016, Nevada changed all appearances of the word accident with car crash for matters relating to police and insurance reports.
  • In 2014, New York issued a guideline that not all car crashes are mere accidents – investigations at the scene were to be conducted to make a determination. San Francisco followed suit.
  • The Associated Press, in their Style Guide, specifically state that when negligence is proven in a car crash, the reporter should avoid the word accident, which can be read as exonerating the person responsible.

Injured in a car crash in Colorado Springs, Colorado?

If you, a family member, or friend has been in a car crash and suffered bodily injury, please contact Noffsinger Law. Call us at (719) 368-3688 to schedule your case evaluation. Your consultation is free and no fees will be charged unless a recovery is made on your behalf. Our office is located at 545 E. Pikes Peak Avenue, Suite 205, Colorado Springs, Colorado. We are open weekdays Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.