As a fan of local radio station KCRW I hear a lot of Los Angeles traffic reports. Many of these include coverage of vehicle collisions (a frightening amount involve motorcyclists). Nearly all are referred to as accidents, but most are not. For example, texting while driving and smashing into someone is an act of idiocy, not accidentalism. For years I’ve complained about the universal use of the word accident for referring to any/all traffic collisions. Finally, advocacy groups are pushing to replace the word accident with crash. “Traffic crashes are fixable problems, not accidents. Let’s stop using the word ‘accident’ today.” If you agree go to crashnotaccident.com and sign the pledge.

  • JMDonald

    Since relocating to Comancheria from Orange County I have been T-boned and rear ended by inattentive drivers. Thankfully I was in a car both times. I never thought I would ever say the drivers are better in SoCal but they are. The metroplex is home to the worlds worst drivers. You can always spot the idiots and without fail they are always on the phone. Both of the collisions I was in were due to the other driver focusing on their phone at the expense of their driving. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Weather permitting I always see someone on a bike in shorts short sleeve shirt tennies and no helmet. Stupid is as stupid does.

    • Douglas

      I assume by metroplex you mean Dallas/Fort, and if so, you are absolutely right. A while back, USA Today published an article about the worst intersections in the country for “accidents”…..3 of the 10 were there, seems like most were in N Dallas/Addison area around Preston Rd & the Belt Line. Many Dallas residents in particular (Ft Worth isn’t so bad) have quite an exaggerated sense of their own self-importance, to wit, “I’m in a hurry and do not have time to be behind YOU! I must stay connected so the people waiting on me to arrive know what to do until I get there! So screw the speed limit, yield & stop signs and such and watch out for ME!!” The only places I’ve seen that rival DFW might be DC and Miami….maybe.

      • JMDonald

        Yes I am in the DFW area. I have an elevated level of attentiveness because I ride while driving but it doesn’t help if you are blindsided or rear ended. I have no issue riding in traffic but I avoid it like the plague here.

      • John B.

        I live less than a mile from Beltline and Preston and agree to ride a motorcycle here at rush hour feels like a death wish. I don’t agree Dallas has an abnormally high number of people with outsized egos, nor do I agree outsized egos account for aggressive driving habits.

        High-speed heavy traffic, long commutes, wide new highways, and flat/straight terrain encourage fast driving. In part, people drive fast here because we can.

  • John B.

    Agreed Tom: Crashes not accidents. But, I’m not signing this petition.

    An entity named, Transportation Alternatives (transalt.org) registered the Crashnotaccident.com domain. Their mission statement reads as follows:

    “Transportation Alternatives’ mission is to reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile and to promote bicycling, walking, public transit…. Right now, Transportation Alternatives activists are leading the fight to improve infrastructure for bicycling and walking on scores of local streets and to change traffic enforcement policy and practices citywide. The goal is to achieve Vision Zero — the elimination of traffic deaths and serious injuries on New York City’s streets.”

    The website speaks for itself, but I question whether this organization supports motorcyclists and motorcycling. How does a community eliminate traffic deaths and injuries without eliminating motorcycles? Thoughts?

    • Aaron Cowles

      The increase of anything other than cars on the road (i.e. bikes, pedestrians, motorcycles) will help cars start seeing things that aren’t cars. Right now most cars don’t see motorcycles/bikes/pedestrians because they are not used to looking for them. The more non car entities that are on the road, the more car drivers will become accustomed to them and therefore look for and notice them more.

      • John B.

        You are referring to inattentional blindness. Keep in mind, however, “excessive stimuli in the visual field (too many things to keep track of at the same time) can cause a person to miss important, but unexpected, items in their vicinity.” As such, I do not accept as true your assertion that adding bikes, peds, motorcycles, etc., to the traffic mix will reduce inattentional blindness or improve rider safety. Moreover, at present most cars don’t see, but they will see in the near future.

        • fzrider

          I agree John B. Crashes will drop by astounding numbers once cars can “see”. (I’m speaking of V2V communication) Damn my luck, by the time it gets here I’ll be gone.

    • Tinwoods

      The website may speak for itself, but your lengthy quote, presumably from them, did not.

      • John B.

        Yea man. That’s the thing about quotes…. We’re not at liberty to rewrite them without permission. What’s your point?

    • Wren1

      I was here to post the exact same thing. This is a group that is opposed to the freedom to operate your own personal vehicle of choice. The original promoters of Vision ZERO included a proposal to BAN Motorcycles because of their high accident rate. From MCN in the UK who have faced these safety fanatics for 8 years now:

      DO NOT SIGN!!! These people are no friend of motorcyclist!!

      http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/1198.html

  • kenneth_moore

    Yes, but was it an accident or a crash when she messed up his hair?

    But seriously, Google has decided to send me articles on m/c crashes. Some are from out of state, but most are right here in South Florida. There’s one almost every day, and a lot are fatal. Not surprisingly the cager is usually at fault.

  • Larry Kahn

    About 45 years ago (!) I read one line in “Car and Driver” about driving that stuck with me…”You don’t lose control, you throw it away.” When news reports say someone “lost control” of their vehicle it rankles (word for today) me the same way.

  • Buzz

    I think a frightening number are motorcycles but based on my observations, a number of them are caused by the riders. I’m a lane splitter like most of us but I’m a cautious lane splitter. I’ve been on the freeway numberous times crawling along in traffic and bikes will split at 50 MPH or so. It’s way above a safe speed differential and there is no way a car could see that coming if the driver was attempting to change lanes.

  • Tinwoods

    Amen to this. An “accident” implies it was not intentional, but when I’ve been crashed into by inattentive drivers on their phones (3 times), the way I see it, their’s was an intentional effort to injure or kill me. One of my proudest moments on a bike was the time I reached into the window of a driver who had just cut me off and flipped me off when I sounded my horn. I grabbed her phone from her ear and threw it across the street before easing away when the light turned green.

  • Thatname

    Accident implies innocent until proven guilty

  • RyYYZ

    Most vehicle crashes are completely avoidable and the result of negligence on the part of one or both vehicles involved. Sometimes that negligence is just a minor and temporary slip in attention at the wrong time, and I would call that an accident. Many crashes are the result of a pattern of behaviour of the driver – aggressive driving, DUI, texting while driving, lazy driving like cutting over the centreline in left hand corners, etc. The problem for the police when it comes to charging them, as it is often not possible to know which is the case.