Until I received an email from Transportation Alternatives (TA) this morning, I never knew that an agency as large as the New York DMV had taken a stand on the application/misapplication of these two words. Did you know that, following years of petitions and wrangling, TA finally convinced the NY Department of Motor Vehicles to forego using "accidents" in favor of "crashes." The semantic differences between these two words is something that bicyclists have long recognized. Use of the term "accident," of course takes blame and responsibility out of the equation, suggesting something that "just happened." Most people know better - things don't "just happen", things happen for a reason. By deciding to use the term "crash", the NY DMV correctly reintroduces the idea of responsibility for our actions. I know the mainstream media is hopelessly negligent in their definition of "accident" but, does anyone know if any other government agencies have followed, or preceded New York in this matter? Is there an active campaign to do this here in California, or anywhere else for that matter?
In case you are interested this is the relevant portion of the newsletter/email: