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Why you shouldn't call your crash an 'accident'

If you are recovering from a recent collision with a car, chances are that you tell doctors, employers and your friends and family that you were in a car accident. This is the phrase most people use when they describe this devastating event.

However, your injuries might stem from a situation that was no accident at all. This is because many common causes of motor vehicle collisions are completely preventable. And while a car crash might be the undesired result of the behaviors we examine below, they aren't exactly accidents.

  • Drunk driving: An intoxicated driver has slower reflexes, impaired decision-making skills and poor ability to execute difficult maneuvers. A drunk driver should not ever be behind the wheel.
  • Distracted driving: Drivers who are using a phone, eating or grooming while driving, have their hands, eyes and/or focus are on something besides the task of driving. This makes it all but impossible to drive safely.
  • Reckless driving: Speeding, weaving through traffic, following others too closely and other reckless behaviors are dangerous and increase the likelihood that a driver will lose control of his or her vehicle and/or strike another car.

Each of these is a common cause of collisions, which is not surprising given how dangerous these behaviors are. And they are all completely preventable. As this article explains, describing something as an accident gives the impression that, "human decisions and actions have nothing to do with it."

But driving drunk, using a phone while driving and driving recklessly are all decisions that are known to be dangerous. They put the lives of drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists in harm's way, and every driver should know this.

Under these circumstances, a collision would not be accidental. It would be a risk that another driver decided to take, and you should not have to pay the price for that decision whether you call it a crash, an accident or something else. You can talk to an attorney about filing a personal injury claim against the liable party and fight for the compensation you deserve.

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