Reply To: Accident versus Crash

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Posted: Jun/14/2016 at 8:59am – author:Mark Pritchard

Section 2.4 of D16 is headed Accident and contains the definition of an accident as “an unstabilized situation which includes at least one harmful event”.

1.       Nick raised the case of: running-off-road accident in which no collision occurred. The current definition of an accident requires “at least one harmful event”, so for this case, it would not seem be an accident according to D16. A decision needs to be made if this case should be included in accident/crash. The definition in D16 should clarify if this case is, or is not a crash/accident.

2.       If a global replace is made to change Accident to Crash, then extra clarification should be added to explain the term Crash is used instead of Accident. Also an Accident entry should still be included in the definitions but point to the definitions of Crash and the Index should retain a pointer to this Accident definition. The reason for this proposal is D16 provides definitions, so a definition of Accident needs to be included to help anyone who looks up the term Accident.

FYI: For about 20 years AAMVA has a had policy to use Crash in place of Accident, when possible. We still have a lot of places where we use Accident. The reason being many states operate computer systems that predate this policy. We tend to add notes saying “The terms Accident and Crash may be used synonymously”.


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