Two New York City nonprofit organizations, Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives, have made it their mission to change the way we refer to car crashes in an effort to help change our mindset about how a crash occurs.

The two organizations have rallied around the catchphrase “crash, not accident” and through the use of a targeted hashtag and an online pledge, they are working toward changing the culture of responsibility around traffic violence.

The campaign argues that using the term “accident” to refer to a crash allows people to take too little responsibility for their decisions that led to a collision. Although no one ever intends to crash their car, there are distinct decisions we make that lead to a crash.

The campaign is working to make Americans realize that there is always a human choice involved in every crash. The leading causes of car crashes in the U.S. are speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving, all of which are deliberate actions.

Although the campaign acknowledges that removing the term “car accident” from our vocabulary will not stop us from being involved in collisions, the organizations are counting on the power of words.

They hope that by raising awareness about using the correct term in describing a vehicle collision, we will acknowledge that driving is a huge responsibility that requires we act responsibly while behind the wheel. By more accurately describing these incidents, the campaign hopes we will practice safe driving behaviors and realize that our choices behind the wheel matter.

At Goldberg Finnegan, we have seen firsthand the devastation that can result because of a driver’s decision to text and drive, drive while drunk, or to ignore traffic laws. That is why our team of Silver Spring, MD car crash attorneys are committed to helping injury victims recover the compensation they deserve after a car crash.