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Cars don’t lose control in accidents – but drivers do

Published July 24, 2012
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It irks me to hear radio and newspaper reporters and TV media describe a traffic crash as if there were no people involved.

“An SUV lost control today…” is a popular phrasing or “Two trucks were involved in an accident…” is another way the media report on what was essentially human error.

Statistics show that 95% of crashes and collision are avoidable and are caused by one or more drivers screwing up and the others involved not knowing how to avoid the ensuing mayhem.

The car or SUV did not lose control. The driver did!

Drivers, both motorists and truckers, cause the vast majority of crashes and collisions. It’s not the vehicles, bad roads or severe weather.

When reporting a crash, let’s place the blame where it should be, with the drivers.

Instead of saying the SUV lost control and rolled in the ditch these reporters should be saying the SUV driver lost control and now their SUV is upside down in a ditch. They should report that two truckers crashed their rigs rather than implying the trucks were at fault.

The other annoying term is “car accident”. Instead of talking about the driver crashing their car this type of reporting implies it was an accident. This has a connotation that there was nothing anybody could do about the crash. “It was an accident.”

Look up the word “accident” and you’ll come across definitions such as “An event that takes place without one’s foresight or expectation; an undesigned, sudden, and unexpected event” when in actual fact if a driver is well trained they should always expect the worst and hope for the best. Good drivers are always looking for the unexpected, the “what if…” as we say in our advanced driving courses.

Since we are dealing with driver error, reports should leave the word accident out of the equation. The term “accident” should be reserved for the time a meteor comes streaking out of space and lands on someone’s vehicle. That, my friends, was an accident.

I have heard people blame “bad roads” as a reason for some crashes. There are no bad roads. There are poorly trained drivers using these roads who are not driving within the limits of that particular road. One of these that comes to mind is Canal Rd. near Holland Landing.

I have heard people refer to this as a dangerous road. Why, because it’s beside a canal and can ice up? Any road can ice up and many roads travel beside a body of water.

Every motorist should drive within the limits of their driving environment.

If every motorist or trucker using that road paid attention to their driving environment and thought to themselves, “This road is narrow and can ice up today so I should slow down and stay off my cell phone so I can focus on my driving,” then maybe there would not be those “terrible accidents” that tend to be blamed on the road instead of the user.

Too many times I have heard motorists say, “My car lost control…” or “I must have hit black ice…” placing the blame everywhere but on the human who was in control of the vehicle.

I think it would be a great idea if reports started to include the human aspect in the multitude of crashes we hear and read about.

Maybe this factor would get a few more motorists thinking that there aren’t just vehicles involved in these crashes but there is also a very serious human factor involved.

These aren’t just vehicles colliding with one another but drivers causing vehicles to crash into each other. It’s a serious human problem with severe injuries or death often involved. It is not simply mechanical objects getting destroyed because one went astray.

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