The Mistake You Make Every Time You Use the Word “Accident”

It may seem to be a simple slight of vernacular – using the word “crash” versus “accident.”

We can tell you though that the two words imply very different things, especially when looking at a behind the wheel incident. Let’s break down the difference between the two words and why it’s important to change the way you refer to vehicular-focused incidents.

First off – the word “accident”

According to, an accident is defined as “an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage or loss.” The underlying problem with this definition is the happenstance that seems to be indicated. Accidents can focus blame on the other party due to the implied nature within the definition of lack of malicious or purposeful intention.

Now let’s think about “crash”

Defined by Merriam-Webster as “a break caused violently and noisily; a loud noise; forcing one’s way through with loud crashing noises,” a crash is implicitly different than an accident. Instead of placing fault on the culpable party, a crash defines more of the power behind the incident.

We know that it may seem like changing one word for another – in this instance, ridding your vocabulary when referencing vehicular incidents of the word “accident” and instead replacing it with the word “crash.” Consider every instance though that you have heard the word “accident” used. Think to how many times you’ve heard the word “accident” as well when referring to immense traffic incidents that maim or cause mortal injury to a variety of people due to something such as distracted driving.

Does it still feel as if it’s considered an accident?

How many times will those at fault use the word “accident,” and how many more times will you? Better yet, what are you doing to actively prevent further crashes? Dive deeper into how you can quickly identify your riskiest drivers with ease, avoid future crashes and cut the word “accident” from your vocabulary.

To learn why crashes caused by distracted driving are a preventable problem, download our white paper.