Why We Say ‘Car Accident,’ and Why We Need to Stop
The term suggests fatal crashes are inevitable and beyond our control—they’re not.
The words we use, on some level, simply describe the world we live in. It’s a world in which we’ve surrendered to cars as the primary way to move our fragile bodies around. Accidents will happen.
I think we routinely use language to distance ourselves from the idea that drivers in fatal crashes are killers, because we know that means we could be killers, too. We’re protecting ourselves from the brutal reality that all too quickly, we ourselves could be the ones making an error in judgment, losing control, and destroying people’s lives.