Distracted drivers kill around 3,000 people each year, according to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). They injure thousands more. Yet when they hit someone with their vehicle, it is often referred to as an accident. Recent studies suggest that the language used in reporting or talking about so-called traffic “accidents” can significantly affect how people perceive these harmful incidents.
Car crashes are someone’s fault
The word “accident” suggests that a collision was not anyone’s fault. However, most of these incidents could and should have been avoided. Driving a vehicle comes with responsibility. When a car or truck hits a pedestrian or cyclist, it will probably kill them or at the very least cause them severe injuries. If a driver is not paying full attention to the road because they are distracted, they are not acting responsibly. They are negligent and a danger to themselves and others.
Even the term “distracted driver” has its problems. When we talk about a driver being distracted, it suggests that they had no control over their actions and were subject to outside forces beyond their control. However, that is not true. The phone does not jump up and force the driver to read the message. The cup of coffee does not lift itself to the driver’s mouth, covering their vision in the process. The driver makes a conscious choice to divert their attention from the road and to the distracting object. They decide something else is more important than the safety of other people.
Negligent or careless drivers injure people in vehicle crashes — not phones or other so-called “distractions.” It is crucial to hold people responsible for their actions and seek the compensation you need.