Reply To: Accident versus Crash

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Posted: May/18/2016 at 8:20am – author:Nick Artimovich

The term “accident” is more inclusive and should be retained, NHTSA preference notwithstanding.  “Crash” limits the incident to one where the vehicle(s) impact each other, impact a fixed object, or overturn. There are many run-off-road “accidents” where the driver loses control (on a curve or wet pavement for example), the vehicle runs off the pavement onto the roadside and, thanks to good grading and a wide clear zone, no “crash” occurs. The driver can recover and return the vehicle to the roadway. The proper design of the roadside has reduced the severity of the “accident” to the point where no “crash” occurs. This is what the Federal Highway Administration’s emphasis on designing a “forgiving roadside” has been all about for the last 50 years.


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